Developments at the Pontiac Industrial Park – Environmental cleanup underway

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Allyson Beauregard

LITCHFIELD – The former Smurfit Stone property, known as the Pontiac Industrial Park, made headlines last year following its sale to Wakefield Properties’ Nova Scotia Company, after the former owner, Green Investment Group Inc. defaulted on municipal taxes.

Allyson Beauregard

LITCHFIELD – The former Smurfit Stone property, known as the Pontiac Industrial Park, made headlines last year following its sale to Wakefield Properties’ Nova Scotia Company, after the former owner, Green Investment Group Inc. defaulted on municipal taxes.
Parcels of the original 2,200 acres of land have been sold to the Pontiac Sorting Centre, the Uteau wastewater treatment facility and more recently to LiveWell Canada, who plans to establish a marijuana/hemp growing facility.  This leaves approximately 800 acres remaining for development, excluding a 250 acre parcel along Highway 303 that Wakefield intends to develop itself. According
to Remi Bertrand, Wakefield Management Consultant, there are three parties looking at the remaining acreage, but he could not disclose what type of industries they represent.  
Betrand stated that since taking ownership of the property last fall, Wakefield has conducted an environmental assessment of the site followed by a number of environmental cleanups in order to make the site more attractive to potential investors.
“Following the assessment, we set priorities for the work to be done,” explained Bertrand.  “We started with the most important, which was the removal of any petroleum-based products stored on the site.  After completing that last fall, we basically removed anything that was at risk of causing additional environmental damage.”
This year, the focus is on one of the area’s “hotspots”, where an old dry kiln and oil tanks, that fuelled the kiln and mill, were located; the soil in the area is contaminated from spillage that occurred when trucks filled the tanks.  After the oil and contaminated water is removed, the tanks and surrounding remnants of the old mill’s operations will be dismantled and the contaminated soil removed. 
One storage building and a large oil storage tank will be left on site as Bertrand noted potential investors might want them.
Additionally, Wakefield continues to collect data on the area’s soil
by monitoring over 30 inspection wells dug last year in different areas around the site. An engineering firm was mandated to conduct this work and three areas were found to be contaminated.
Bertrand estimated that the cleanup work completed over the past two years
has cost about $250,000. “Once all is decontaminated (by summer 2019), new projects will be able to establish themselves on these redeveloped properties,” he concluded.