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February 2, 2004
Nexen receives special environment award for Squamish site cleanup
SQUAMISH, BC-Nexen was presented a special environmental award by the British Columbia government late last month in recognition of its outstanding cleanup of its old bleaching products plant site on the Squamish waterfront. The oil and gas company voluntarily spent more than $40 million to carry out a major, four-year cleanup at the former site of a chlor-alkali plant which used a mercury-cell process to produce bleaching products for the pulp and paper industry. The facility was closed permanently in 1991. As part of the remedial work, Nexen shipped more than 1,700 rail cars of contaminated soil and sludge, a large amount of it hazardous waste, to secure storage in Alberta. Last November, under the auspices of the $1-billion BC Rail Investment Partnership, the provincial government approved an agreement in principle with the District of Squamish and Nexen to transfer 71 acres of the cleaned up site to the district. Nexen's completed cleanup has increased the land available on the site for redevelopment by 44% and is a key step toward revitalization of the city's downtown core. The site is owned by BC Rail and operated under a long-term lease by Nexen and its predecessors.