Golden Hill could still have some cleaning to do

Golden Hill Ventures isn't off the hook for environmental damage related to two court convictions made Tuesday.

Golden Hill Ventures isn’t off the hook for environmental damage related to two court convictions made Tuesday.

Golden Hill could be charged again if it can’t resolve the cleanup of oil and other hydrocarbons near Williscroft Creek, said Ryan Hennings, a senior conservation officer with Environment Yukon.

“That’s possible,” said Hennings, when asked if more litigation could come forward.

“We’re still working with them on Williscroft.”

Golden Hill has tested the soil for contamination and Environment Yukon isn’t sold on the methodology the company used, said Hennings.

The department wants to make sure the right protocols for the samples were in place, he said.

Until the department approves the tests, it won’t declare whether or not the site, which Golden Hill leases from government to store equipment, is clean.

The mess at Williscroft and other sites forced the department to take Golden Hill to court for seven breaches of the Environment Act last year.

Golden Hill was found guilty for two of the charges on Tuesday.

They were fined $5,000.

The government dropped the other five charges because Golden Hill had remediated the sites, a requirement for leasing the sites.

Those charges included oil spills, remediating soil without a permit, and improperly storing hazardous petroleum products.

Golden Hill had tried to remediate the soil without a permit at its own private land-treatment centre at Nines Creek.

The government requires a permit for cleanup because the process must be approved, said Hennings.

Some of the charges are related to the clean-up protocols at Nines Creek.

The Department of Highways and Public Works leases several sites along Yukon roads to Golden Hill so the company can store equipment when it’s performing a construction job.

There were oil spills at only two sites, one near the Djondek River and the one at Williscroft Creek.

There is no more contamination at Djondek, said Hennings.

All remediation is done on Golden Hill’s dime, he said.

The government only steps in to clean up a site if a hazardous spill presents an emergency threat, he said.

Contact James Munson at

jamesm@yukon-news.com

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