Ground contamination latest challenge facing new Ottawa hospital site

Public Services and Procurement Canada say no decision has been made on how to clean up the future site of the Ottawa Civic Hospital or how to pay for those costs.

By Ryan Tumilty

The government agency that has control over the former Sir John Carling Building is developing estimates for the cost of removing a large amount of concrete left over from when the building was imploded.

Metro reported earlier this week on documents that show groundwater on the site has been found to contain phenol. The issue was enough of a concern that Environment Canada ordered PSPC to ensure it prevented the chemical from leaking off of the site.

The chemical is believed to have been left behind by the explosives used in the implosion.

A PSPC spokesman said the department is considering excavating and removing all of the concrete, but that’s not the only option it is exploring.

“Other short, medium and long-term remediation (and) risk management options for the site are also being considered,” wrote Nicolas Boucher.

He said they would work with the hospital if the excavation becomes necessary.

“Should the excavation option be chosen, PSPC will work with the Ottawa Hospital to determine how best to manage the excavation from a timing perspective and associated costs,” he added. 

The Sir John Carling property was selected as the site for the future Ottawa Civic Hospital, after a lengthy political process.

This article originally appeared in Metro News.