Peninsula Harbour Area of Concern
Peninsula Harbour is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Superior midway between Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay. The Area of Concern extends approximately four kilometres from the Peninsula into Lake Superior.
Why was this area listed?
Major environmental issues of concern in the area included:
- fish consumption advisories due to high levels of toxic contaminants
- degraded fish communities
- fish habitat destruction
- degraded lake bottom communities
- dredging restrictions due to contamination of the bottom sediments
The environmental impairments in Peninsula Harbour result, almost exclusively, from the presence of a substantial area of contaminated sediments. Sediment contamination is largely the result of wood fibre, mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB).
What is being done? How is it being done?
In order to improve the environmental conditions noted above, a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is being developed for Peninsula Harbour. The Peninsula Harbour RAP is a partnership between the federal and provincial governments with cooperation from a Public Advisory Committee (PAC). Linkages and alliances have been made between the RAP team and various other groups in the community, including environmental groups, recreational groups, industry and municipalities.
This plan, which was initiated in 1987, involves the following steps:
- defining the problem
- planning for implementation
- implementing the actions
- monitoring the restoration of the environment
Currently, the RAP is planning for implementation. A list of recommended remedial actions is being developed to address environmental problems in the Areas of Concern. Three options were considered to address the problem of contaminated sediments. These options were:
- Removal or removal and treatment of the contaminated sediments
- In situ treatment of contaminated sediments (treating the sediment without removing it)
- Natural recovery and monitoring for incremental progress; no further intervention at this time.
The preferred course of action to deal with the contaminated sediments is the dredging and disposing of sediments from the area of highest contamination and allowing for the natural recovery of the remaining area.
When the list of recommended remedial actions is complete, it will be published in the RAP Stage 2 Report. This Report will guide restoration and monitoring efforts until Peninsula Harbour is no longer considered an Area of Concern.
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