Central Alberta has 102 sites listed on the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory.
Two sites are in Red Deer — the Red Deer Armoury and the former Red Deer Rural RCMP detachment, located side by side on 55th Street.
Only the armoury required cleanup. Surface soil contamination around storage buildings was discovered in 2004-05 and work took about four months to complete.
The inventory list on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website (http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/fcsi-rscf/numbers-numeros-eng.aspx?qid=1090054) includes 1,086 sites in Alberta and 22,294 sites across Canada.
Only land under the responsibility of the Canadian government is included in the inventory and sites are either contaminated or suspected of being contaminated.
Fifty-three per cent of sites across the country, or 11,843, have either been remediated or no action was required following assessment.
Of the 6,473 active sites, 29 per cent are at the assessment stage, 21 per cent are developing or implementing remediation or risk management strategies, and seven per cent require long-term monitoring.
At the Red Deer Armoury, small patches of surface contamination in the petroleum, oils and lubricants storage area reached a depth of 15 cm.
Groundwater was not contaminated.
Stained soil was removed and steel storage sheds, with containment areas built into the bottom, were installed to prevent future contamination.
Cleanup costs came to a little over $8,000.
No contamination was found at the Red Deer Rural RCMP detachment. The site was identified for assessment because it had an underground storage tank.
As a proactive measure, the storage tank was removed to meet today’s standards that require above-ground tanks.
Other Central Alberta sites listed in the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory include six sites at the Lacombe Research Centre operated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and five sites under the control of the Correctional Service of Canada in connection with Bowden Institution.
According to information included in the contaminated inventory, remediation was done at three of the sites at the research centre that cost $379,000, $109,000 and $52,000.
Research activities at the centre focus on integrated meat science and production, microbiological safety and storage stability of meat, and northern and parkland agriculture.
Remediation has been completed at two Correctional Service of Canada sites — its active firing range in 2009, and at Bowden Institution’s fuel storage tanks in 2008.
The institution’s landfill only requires periodic groundwater testing. No remediation is needed at the new water reservoir, or at the Bowden Wastewater Lagoon.
The largest cleanup of contaminated land in Central Alberta was at the two Cold War bomb shelters at Penhold in 2001.
The “Diefenbunker” and the smaller communications bunker were both demolished as they were found to be contaminated with mould, asbestos and lead. A diesel fuel spill was also discovered near the smaller bunker.
Between June 2004 and December 2008, more than 4,700 litres of diesel fuel was recovered from the groundwater.
The Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan was established in 2005 with a 15-year commitment of $4.2 billion from the federal government.