2019 Soil Management Plan

 

In recent years, major improvements have been made to lower metal emissions from Teck Trail Operations, resulting in improved air quality. This means that Teck is not adding as many metals such as lead into the soil. We can now focus more on addressing the historical impacts to soil from past emissions. 

As part of this focus, the Trail Area Health and Environment Program is expanding its longstanding soil testing and remediation program that has been in place since 2007. This program includes soil testing and, in qualifying yards, replacement of soil or improvements to ground cover on a prioritized basis.

As would be expected, lead and other metals in soil are higher closer to the operation, and moving away from the operation. As such, properties further away may require no action.   
Given the large number of properties in the area, our immediate focus will continue to be on those properties that are expected to have higher levels of metals in the soil, such as those nearest the smelter.

Soil testing will be prioritized based on the presence of children under 12 within areas that are known to have the highest levels of lead in the soil.

The prioritization of children under 12 allows us to focus on the age group that is the most likely to be exposed to metals in soil. Older children in this age group have a higher tolerance to exposure, while younger children under 6 years of age have lower tolerance to exposure. Our prioritization approach reflects these tolerance levels.

Following soil testing, we’ll use three criteria to determine how properties are prioritized for soil management: the presence of children in key age groups, the presence of ground cover, such as grass, and lead levels in soil.

Our aim is to identify and offer soil testing to all residential properties with children under 12 years old on a prioritized basis. We encourage parents and care takers of children under 12 in the Trail area to contact the Trail Area Health and Environment Program to determine their eligibility for soil testing.

The 2019 Soil Management Plan is being conducted under the direction of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy as per the Contaminated Sites Regulation of the Environmental Management Act.

Teck is working with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to develop and seek approval for a long-term soil management plan called a Wide Area Remediation Plan. Once that plan is drafted, a full public consultation will take place prior to approval and implementation.  The 2019 Soil Management Plan is an interim step focused on highest risk properties.

The Wide Area Remediation Plan will continue to build on the work we have been doing to address historical soil impacts in Trail and the surrounding area.

For more information, visit our downtown Trail Community Program Office at 1319 Bay Avenue, call 250-368-3256, or email programs@thep.ca

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. Why is a soil management plan necessary?

2. What is the 2019 Soil Management Plan?

3. What does it mean to live with metals in soil?

4. How do you plan to address lead in the soil?

5. Can you tell me more about your prioritization criteria?

6. How is the presence of children defined?

7. What are the regulatory standards that this plan is based on?

8. Why are you looking at a wider area than in the past?

9. Does this just apply to residential properties or are playgrounds, daycares and schools also included?

10. Why are you now focusing on properties with children up to 12 years old?

11. When will the expanded soil management program begin?

12. Who is paying for soil management?

13. What should I do if I want my garden soil tested?

14. Where can I get more information?

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