CAM-F (Sarcpa Lake) Remediation Project


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Sarcpa Lake Site

CAM-F is located on Melville Peninsula, between Foxe Basin and Committee Bay in Nunavut. The site is approximately 85 kilometres west of Hall Beach and 100 kilometres southwest of Igloolik.

Contaminant of Concern

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) were the primary concern at CAM-F. They were in building paints, buildings themselves, and site debris. The soils at the site were contaminated with heavy metals and hydrocarbons.

History of Site

CAM-F is a former Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line Site that was constructed in 1957 and then closed and abandoned in 1963. In 1977, the site was converted to a scientific research station. Throughout the 1980's and 1990's there were site assessments and work done to address contaminants at the site. In 2003, the site was identified as a priority site for clean-up under the Federal Contaminated Sites Accelerated Action Plan.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) completed the last phase of an assessment program in 2004. Work included a review of all previous assessment and cleanup activities, field investigations, information collection, computer modeling, development of engineering plans, and obtaining regulatory approvals. As part of this process, community consultations were undertaken in Hall Beach and Igloolik in 2004 and representatives from these areas were flown out the site. All barrels containing PCB contaminated material were shipped off site for destruction at a licensed disposal facility.

Remediation Complete

Working at the Sarcpa Lake Site

In 2005 contracts for both the camp construction and the remediation work were awarded to Mikim Contracting and Biogenie SRDC, respectively. Remediation work was completed in 2007. Activities for this project included:

Community support for this project was essential to its successful completion. Throughout the project over 60 per cent of the workers were Inuit and over 75 per cent of the sub-contracts were awarded to Inuit firms. Local residents gained employment and training in a number of areas such as sharing local knowledge of the site, translation services, guide services, camp construction, carpentry, and heavy equipment operation.

Future Plans

INAC continues to implement a 25-year monitoring plan for the Sarcpa Lake site.

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