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HomeNewsAnnapolis saga drags on with HazMat Association criticizing clean up effort

Annapolis saga drags on with HazMat Association criticizing clean up effort

It’s been almost 6 years since the former warship HMCS Annapolis was towed into Howe Sound, and the fight over its fate continues.

The Artificial Reef Society of BC wants to sink it in Halkett Bay off Gambier Island… in the face of opposition from some residents, financial difficulties, and the discovery of possible PCB contamination.

Now, the Hazardous Materials Association of BC is criticizing the clean up effort, in particular the choice of a company that isn’t specialized and the decision to let the work be done at anchor.

“We adamantly oppose the whole process used to supposedly ‘clean’ the Annapolis,” says Don Whyte, Executive Director of the Association. “This scheme is nothing more than a thinly disguised effort by the federal government to avoid the costs associated with an environmentally responsible decommissioning of the vessel.”

The federal government is paying around 860-thousand dollars for the work, but Gary MacDonald of the group Save Halkett Bay, says the government isn’t taking any responsibility for volunteers’ possible exposure.

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MacDonald says his group will continue to oppose using the Annapolis as an artificial reef – whether or not it’s properly decontaminated.

In a statement from earlier this month the Artificial Reef Society says, “The ARSBC anticipates visiting the Annapolis sometime over the coming weeks with government officials as part of a walk around. We hope to be able to provide a further update, including photos, after that visit.

We are still hopeful the remediation work will be completed sometime in June. The completion date is ultimately out of our control but we will be keep you updated on any developments.

We are hopeful that volunteer work can resume upon completion of the remediation work.”

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