The decontamination of the Kathryn Spirit will begin in January

News 11 December, 2017
  • Photo Axel Marchand-Lamothe

    Axel Marchand-Lamothe

    Monday, December 11, 2017 16:03

    Monday, December 11, 2017 16:03

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    The new mayor of Beauharnois remains cautious before celebrating the beginning of the dismantling of the ship Kathryn Spirit, failed at the edge of the municipality since 2011.

    According to the timetable presented on Monday, the company that was awarded the federal contract for the operation, the Excavation René St-Pierre inc. associated with Encompass Corp., will begin the removal of hazardous materials in January next year before starting work for the cutting of the carcass.

    “I dare not yet be convinced, but we are on the right track, said Bruno Tremblay, elected mayor last November. There will certainly be other surprises as and to the extent that the decommissioning will be done. “

    If he said he was relieved with the latest developments, Mr. Tremblay reminds us that the saga has dragged on, despite the many calls for help from its predecessor.

    Hazardous materials

    Currently isolated in the lac Saint-Louis with a basin of rocks and a wall of steel built by 2016, the wreck remains a leading environmental risk.

    “The working methods will all be documented and authorized to ensure that hazardous materials are found in the environment,” says Martin Blouin, superintendent of environmental response for the canadian coast Guard.

    The operation looks delicate as the Kathryn Spirit contains many contaminants such as asbestos and PCBS, as well as radioactive material, lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium.

    Work is conducted currently for the concreting of the water inlets of the vessel and to facilitate access to some compartments flooded. From there, workers will be able to go inside to remove the liquid and contaminated equipment.


    According to Mr. Blouin, the investigations, the current contractor responsible for the decommissioning, which will establish the procedures for the withdrawal of the embankment.

    “We don’t want that sediment already contaminated are raised and propagate in the lac-Saint-Louis “, he says.

    The field will be sampled once the cutting is completed, in August or September 2018. It is at this time that the embankment protection will be removed, probably in December.

    The mayor Bruno Tremblay added that he had received guarantees that tests of water quality will be carried out continuously and that the municipality would be informed of the results.

    “As there will be a displacement of the pieces [of the ship], new impact analyses will be made,” says the representative of the coast Guard.

    Then, if all goes as planned, the reshaping of the seabed and the rehabilitation of the site will be able to move forward until the fall of 2019.

    “The company is fully responsible for the execution of the works within the time,” says Mr. Blouin.