Esquimalt to conduct soil assessment of former public works site

The Township of Esquimalt is one step closer to remediating the site that will be the foundation for the Esquimalt Village Project.

The Township of Esquimalt is one step closer to remediating the site that will be the foundation for the Esquimalt Village Project.

The township was awarded a $68,200 Green Municipal Fund grant from the federal government and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to put toward the assessment of soil, groundwater and vapour contamination on the former public works site last Thursday.

“We knew there was the possibility of some contamination on that site because it used to be the public works site,” Mayor Barb Desjardins said. “In order for us to go forward with the best possible certainty, we felt we needed to do any work we could to find out the extent of that contamination.”

The 7,500-square metered site, located at Esquimalt Road and Carlisle Avenue, is the site for the Esquimalt Village Project, a revitalization project that will include a mix of retailers, restaurants, and recreational activities.

Last year, an investigation identified additional contaminants including hydrocarbons, metals and salt in the soil.

The township is in the process of drilling as many as 20 boreholes to determine the extent and strength of the contamination and begin remediation on the site.

Desjardins said she hopes to have information back before the end of the summer.

“We can deal with it ourselves or in our Request for Proposals out to developers, they will have a full understanding of what exactly is happening there,” she said. “It just helps anyone knowing what they’re facing to be able to deal with it quickly and efficiently and cost-effectively. The more we know, the better our ability to move our project forward.”

The Green Municipal Fund supports partnerships and leveraging of both public and private-sector funding to reach her standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.

“The Green Municipal Fund offers a range of resources and services that specifically addresses the sustainable community development needs of municipal governments,” said Raymond Louie, president of the FCM. “The financing and knowledge provided by the Fund support the development of communities that are more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.”