BC Hydro is remediating their old district office lands off of Evergreen Road. This shows the remediation work within an old drainage area that fed into Nunns Creek, and the old pole yard in the background. Photo by BC Hydro

BC Hydro doing remedial work on site of former Campbell River district office

BC Hydro is cleaning up its old Evergreen Road property.

The Evergreen Road site, formerly known as the Campbell River District Office, was used by BC Hydro designers, vegetation maintenance coordinators, and power line technicians for about four decades of keeping the lights on within Campbell River and beyond. Five acres of the original 10-acre property was sold to BC Transit for construction of its Campbell River transit centre currently underway.

Hydro closed down the Evergreen Road office in 2015 and moved operations to Quinsam Crossing. Now they are taking action to clean up some soils impacted from historical operations.

“We have been looking to sell the 10-acre property at fair market value, and the first step was selling the unused five-acre forested section to BC Transit,” said BC Hydro spokesperson, Stephen Watson. “Over the past few years we’ve been looking at cleaning up our old site storage lands, and that remediation work started around mid-August. Once done, we will then look to divest of the remaining five acres of land.”

A back portion of the five-acre property was used for storage – everything from poles to transformers. BC Hydro completed a contaminated sites assessment and with some contamination found, and committed to cleaning up the affected area. Most of the contamination is metals and pentachlorophenol.

Some of the area cleaned-up includes a very short three-metre section of Nunns Creek.

“Sediment samples collected about 10 metres downstream of the area that had elevated arsenic met applicable environmental standards, so the extent of the off-migration is not far from our property,” said Watson.

The clean-up of the small portion of BC Hydro’s property is expected to last about four weeks. Tervita is the contractor who is doing the work. The contaminated soils were shallow and involved the scraping out of the soil to about 30 cm of depth. A total of about 1,500 tonnes of contaminated material will be removed.

A hydrovac was used within the Nunns Creek area to limit the disturbance, although BC Hydro is working within the summer fisheries instream work window of August 15 to September 15. There will then be some site restoration and planting. All removed contaminated soils will be properly disposed at an approved facility. The remediation work may cost about $800,000.

Watson says Hydro has been working with the BC Ministry of Environment, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the City of Campbell River, which has some City staff leasing the old office complex. The office complex area is not affected by the remediation work.

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