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Reay Creek Pond Remediation

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Reay Creek Technical Working Group Meeting Minutes

Reay Creek Technical Working Group Meetings
September 4, 2015
Terms of Reference
May 11, 2016
November 3, 2016 Minutes
November 30, 2017 Minutes
June 22, 2018 Minutes


Background Information

Reay Creek was named for brothers William and Charles Reay, who settled on an acreage in the area in 1875.  The watershed for the creek extends across what is now Victoria Airport, to the Cresswell area of North Saanich, on the north slope of Mount Newton.  In the 1950’s a local farmer installed a dam on the creek to create Reay Creek Pond, and the pond was used for commercial duck production.  In the 1980’s the Town of Sidney obtained the land where Reay Creek Pond is situated, and created a dedicated park.

In 2013 the Town hired Thurber Engineering to perform a geotechnical investigation of the Reay Creek Dam. The investigation recommended that the dam be upgraded to meet current seismic design standards, and to be brought in compliance with the BC Dam Safety Guidelines.  The problem with performing remedial work on the dam became apparent when suspicions arose of contaminated sediments in the pond behind the dam.  In 2015 the Town hired environmental consultant SLR Consulting to collect and analyse samples of sediment from Reay Creek Pond.  The samples were taken on January 15, 2015 and the report was completed in May 2015.  Findings indicate high levels of some metals, including cadmium, zinc, chromium and lead.  This is consistent with other sampling work in the area by Peninsula Streams and the Capital Regional District.

In 2015 the Town created the Technical Working Group, a group of stakeholders (including Victoria Airport Authority, District of North Saanich, Capital Regional District, Canada Department of Fisheries & Oceans, BC Ministry of Environment) to determine how best to clean up the pond area. This group provides oversight to the development of an action plan and reviews technical studies as they are completed.

In October 2016, Transport Canada completed the classification of Reay Creek pond under the federal Aquatic Sites Classification System.  The site is classified as Class 1, which is “High Priority for Action”.  The site is now included in Transport Canada’s list of contaminated sites, which is a necessary prerequisite for Transport Canada to provide funding for cleanup or remediation.

Transport Canada is now undertaking environmental assessment and survey work to determine the extent of contamination in Reay Creek within the Victoria International Airport land, Town of Sidney, and District of North Saanich. This information will be used to help the department establish remediation and risk management goals, identify potential remedial and risk management options, and develop an environmental site management strategy with stakeholders.

The purpose of collecting the environmental and survey information is to identify the preliminary scope and estimated cost of remediation options. 

The purpose of this preliminary remedial planning is to identify various construction considerations. Collaboration with stakeholders will be required in order to finalize the remedial strategy. The scope of remedial planning to be undertaken in 2018 and 2019 will reflect the requirements put forth by the stakeholders to address those construction considerations.