Plans go ahead
Clean-up project will continue despite setback

Maria Canton
Northern News Services

IQALUIT (Oct 18/99) - Despite Cintec-Tredi losing out on a PCB cleanup contract that would have created upwards of 70 jobs for Inuit, the president of the Qikiqtaaluk Corporation says they will continue to explore other avenues for removing PCBs in the North.

Cintec, a Montreal-based company, had agreed to enter into a partnership with Pan Arctic Inuit Logistics, of which QC is a member, if their $50-million bid was selected by the Department of National Defence.

A permanent PCB incinerator would have then been built in Iqaluit for the destruction of the hazardous polychlorinated biphenyls from Saglek, Labrador.

After cleaning up the Saglek site was completed, PAIL had plans to continue remediation of other DEW-Line sites across the North.

"Our goal is to maximize the jobs and benefits for Inuit people and right now we are discussing clean-up issues with other southern companies to begin the process again," said Ell.

"Cintec not receiving the contract was very disappointing because of lost job potential, but we are still looking into clean-up alternatives that will also create jobs."

Ell said a permanent incinerator isn't the only option being explored, a mobile unit is also a possibility or a plant capable of handling the chemical wash process.

"What we'll look at are the different clean-up technologies and then we'll look at the main skills the people in the clean-up area have and that will help determine our remediation choice."

Because enough contaminated DEW line and abandoned dump sites exist in the North, Ell says clean-up work could last for as long as 20 years.

Technical training would therefore become a key component in the long-term job creation plan.

"Another aspect to this is we will develop the capability to export expertise to other areas that need the same type of cleanup," said Ell.

"Maybe Greenland or Russia could use the same technology and we would be capable of providing it."

Last week, the Saglek, Labrador contract was awarded to GPEC International, an Ottawa company with a $14-million bid to conduct an on-site cleanup using a mobile incinerator.