Tuk cleanup delayed one year
Four Tuk sites left to be cleaned up

Glen Korstrom
Northern News Services

TUKTOYAKTUK (Jul 17/98) - The Department of National Defence has put off cleaning up at least two contaminated former DEW line sites in Tuktoyaktuk until next year due to a shortage of fill material in the area.

"There's no available gravel in the community that meets the specifications of the DND cleanup program," said Tuktoyaktuk Mayor Eddie Dillon.

"So they have written to council for the last meeting and said because they can't find the granular support to do the cleanup, it will be done next summer and the fill will be sent on the winter road."

Dillon said the main former DEW line site itself has been cleaned up to standards in the protocol agreement with the IRC.

"That's done," he said before explaining how the community had identified four sites the DEW line utilized for waste disposal.

An environmental science group came in to study those four sites and scheduled two for cleanup as they exceeded DND guidelines for contamination.

"Before they disturb the area and do their cleanup they want to have material that they can replace the hole that they've dug up with," said Dillon.

"Once they dig out they need rip rap, which is a kind of granular material."

Russell Newmark, who is managing the cleanup of the sites, said he believes all four sites identified by people in the community will eventually be cleaned up.

"(For) two of them it's just a few little pieces of debris to pick up. There's two of them where there's a little bit of contamination," Newmark said.

"It's just a few little pieces of wood and it's pretty minor and I think they are going to be cleaned up but there's actually only two areas where there will be any intensive effort at all."

The United States military still operates an active short range radar site in Tuktoyaktuk.