CNL Seeks Public Feedback on Proposed Changes to PHAI Cleanup Criteria

In Community, Local

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) is proposing amendments to the Port Hope Area Initiative (PHAI) Cleanup Criteria, having determined the criteria’s conservative levels for arsenic and uranium are resulting in negative impacts to the community and natural environment.

CNL will be providing a number of opportunities this fall for Port Hope residents and other interested stakeholders to learn more and give feedback about the proposed changes, including focus groups, stakeholder meetings and a public information session. In keeping with public health precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely that all participation will be online or by phone.

In 2018, CNL began the cleanup of low-level radioactive waste at private properties in Port Hope to meet the PHAI Cleanup Criteria. Many residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the length of time it has taken to clean up their properties. In addition, the broader community has raised concerns about the unintended impact of the project on the natural environment, including a significant loss of trees in urban Port Hope.

After reviewing the first two years of cleanup work on residential properties, CNL identified that changing the criteria for arsenic from 18 parts per million (ppm) to 100 pm and uranium from 23 ppm to 35 ppm would reduce the unintended impacts, while still being protective of human health. As a result, CNL has submitted an application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to amend the PHAI Cleanup Criteria.

Visit https://www.phai.ca/en/home/cc-change.aspx for a list of opportunities to participate in the process and submit feedback.

“As the PHAI began as a community-requested cleanup, we encourage residents to join the discussion and share your thoughts on these proposed changes,” said Scott Parnell, General Manager of CNL’s Historic Waste Program.

A CNSC hearing to review the matter is expected to take place in spring 2021.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

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