Hamilton’s Randle Reef project wins Brownfield remediation award

The Randle Reef remediation project in Hamilton Harbour enters its final stage in the spring of 2022.
The Randle Reef remediation project in Hamilton Harbour enters its final stage in the spring of 2022. Ken Mann/CHML

The Randle Reef project has received a 2021 Brownie award.

The $139-million project has been recognized for excellence in remediation and redevelopment, during an annual ceremony held by the Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN), a not-for-profit environmental organization.

“The award was received earlier this week by our provincial partners,” revealed Craig Murdoch, Hamilton’s acting general manager of public works, during a capital budget meeting of Hamilton city councillors on Friday morning. “This is for significant improvement to water quality or the environment.”

The Randle Reef project involves the dredging, containment and capping of 695,000 cubic metres of contaminated sediment within Hamilton Harbour.

It is honoured by the CBN as a “successful partnership” to move economic and ecological regeneration through to cleanup.

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The provincial and federal governments, cities of Hamilton and Burlington, Halton Region, Hamilton Oshawa Port Authority and Stelco, have all contributed to the $138.9-million cost of remediating the 60-hectare site, which was created through a legacy of industrial processes dating back to the 1800s.

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Hamilton Harbour was identified as an Area of Concern under the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1985, due to significant impairment of water quality and loss of fish and wildlife habitat.

Ward 5 Coun. Russ Powers, who represented Dundas on council and served as a Liberal MP when the project was first envisioned in the early 2000s, says “this will go a long way in heading towards either minimizing our recognition as a hot spot or eventually eliminating it from that international list.”

Stage 1 of the Randle Reef project, which involved the construction of an engineered containment facility (ECF) known as the “steel box,” was completed in 2017.

Stage 2, which started in 2018 and was completed in March 2021, involved dredging the contaminated sediment into the 6.2-hectare box.

Stage 3, which involves capping the ECF, will begin in the spring of 2022.


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