Tank farm site officially contaminated

Whitehorse may have lost another area for residential development...

Whitehorse may have lost another area for residential development.

The old tank farm area off of Hamilton Boulevard – which could accommodate up to 500 lots – has been considered contaminated by the Environment Department.

The department has yet to stamp a final designation on the land, but on August 19 it released a paper saying the area was tainted.

Originally built as a fuel-storage facility for the US and Canadian armies during the Second World War, the farm was bought by Yukon Pipelines and operated until 1992.

Now the 56-hectare lot lies dormant.

In the late ‘90s, owners of the lot spent money cleaning up the site, removing hydrocarbons in the leftover pipeline and tanks and ripping out old infrastructure.

Work was finished in 2000. By 2009, the National Energy Board officially reported the site had been reclaimed.

But the soil and groundwater is still tainted, said contaminated sites co-ordinator Heather Badry.

“Previous samples show there are still hydrocarbons in the soil,” she said, referring to past soil samples that have been taken in the area.

The new owners of the site, Forrest Heights Development Ltd., will be taking new samples, she said.

The company is still interested in developing the land residentially, but none of the owners were willing to comment for this story.

For many years the city has zoned the land as an area for future residential development.

A final designation from the Environment Department in a month’s time will determine whether that’s possible, said Badry. (Vivian Belik)

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