A railway spur line once ran through the area that is now the Chenail Boulevard neighbourhood in Hawkesbury. The town is now trying to determine what kind of environmental impact the former rail line made on the subsurface groundwater.
A railway spur line once ran through the area that is now the Chenail Boulevard neighbourhood in Hawkesbury. The town is now trying to determine what kind of environmental impact the former rail line made on the subsurface groundwater.

More environmental study recommended for Chenail Boulevard

Gregg Chamberlain
EAP
A consultant’s report recommends more environmental study on what’s down in the ground along Chenail Boulevard in Hawkesbury.

Town council reviewed a report from Morrison Hershfield, a Toronto-based consultant firm, on results of an environmental site assessment (ESA) of Chenail Boulevard. The ESA focused on the areas surrounding four municipal lots located north and south of the boulevard.

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Une étude environnementale plus poussée recommandée pour le boulevard du Chenail

The study was done because of concern whether or not there might be any subsurface groundwater contamination for a private property adjacent to one of the municipal lots.

The consultant report noted that the past history of the Chenail Boulevard area shows it was once the site for a railway line extension starting in the early 1920s until it was later decommissioned towards the end of the last century. The municipal lots were once oil-servicing sites for the trains. Also during past years of expanding the riverfront area for development, loads of fill “of unknown quality” were dumped along the original shoreline.

More than a dozen boreholes were drilled in and around the municipal lots and at other locations to take material samples for analysis. Tests indicated the presence of heavy metals and/or petroleum-based products in the subsurface soil. Sampling from one borehole showed traces of coal and slag along with other contaminants.

The consultant report noted that there is no risk to residents because the lands are undeveloped, with no buildings of any sort, and also there are no wells drilled for drinking water. The report does recommend further tests of the ground to determine the amount of actual contamination that exists so that municipal officials can decide future action.