July 18, 2005

Comments invited on Tar Ponds cleanup EIS guidelines; STPA calls for engineering design EOIs

Public comments are being invited on the draft guidelines for the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Sites remediation project. These comments will be taken into account as the federal Environment Minister and the Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Labour as they finalize the guidelines. The final guidelines will specify the issues to be addressed by the proponent, the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency (STPA), in its EIS for the proposed project.

The draft EIS guidelines are available on the Web sites of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca) or Nova Scotia Environment and Labour (www.gov.ns.ca/enla/ess/ea). Written comments are due by July 30, 2005 and may be sent (in English or French) to: Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Review, PO Box 431, Sydney, NS B1P 6H2, E-mail comments@stpco-review.ca.

The issuing of the draft guidelines follows the release an agreement by the federal and Nova Scotia Environment Ministers for the joint panel review of the project. This agreement, an important step in the environmental assessment (EA) process, sets out the rules for conducting the joint review and the procedures for appointing panel members. It also includes the panel's terms of reference. The joint review will fulfill the requirements of both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the Nova Scotia Environment Act.

In another significant move, the STPA has called for expressions of interest (EOIs) in the engineering design of the $400-million cleanup project. The successful bidder will also be responsible for managing construction contracts during the cleanup.

This is the first of a two-part process for awarding major tenders. The STPA will evaluate and rank the EOIs received and will invite detailed proposals from the top three to five companies. EOI submissions are due by August 31, 2005. The STPA plans to complete the subsequent request for proposals (RFP) phase by the end of 2005.

The contract resulting from this two-part tendering process will cover preliminary design of the cleanup, detailed design, preparation of documents for construction contracts and supervision of the construction work. It will also include various consulting and advisory services, as well as project management.

EOI submissions must provide details concerning the bidders' experience in cleaning up former industrial sites and their skills in areas such as environmental engineering, hydrology, engineering design, project management, scheduling, cost estimating and control, risk management, construction administration, quality assurance, hazardous material handling and regulatory compliance.

More information is available from Richard Morykot at the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency, 902/567-1035, E-mail morykori@gov.ns.ca, or Parker Donham, also at the Agency, 902/565-5555, E-mail parker@kempthead.ca.

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