City faces tight timeline for $3-million Laurel Point remediation

The remediation of contaminated soil at Laurel Point is set to begin this fall – and there could be big cost implications for the City of Victoria.

Most of the area is owned by Transport Canada, and it plans to tender the project in June, and begin excavation work in September.

Some of the contaminated soil also falls within Laurel Point Park – owned by the City of Victoria.

Tomorrow, city council will discuss whether to approve a budget of $3.1 million to remediate the park --- and there is some urgency to act quickly.

If the city coordinates with Transport Canada – the federal government has agreed to cover many of the joint costs project, such as site security, barge access ramps, and other management costs.  The potential savings to the city have been pegged between  $1.2 million and $1.5 million.

Transport Canada estimates it will take 12- to 18 months to excavate up to seven metres of contaminated soil, and dispose of it offsite.  Public access to Laurel Point will be closed during this period. 

Laurel Point was once home to a paint factory, and starting in 1905, the site was infilled with a mix of unknown materials. Tests of the park site have found metals, petroleum hydrocarbons and other contaminants in the soil and ground water that exceed regulatory standards.