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Phase1 - Environmental Site Assessment



Nail and Wire Mills (SCU 11)


Located immediately west of the Victoria Road overpass, the former sites of the Wire Mill and Nail Mill are now vacant. The parcel is bounded to the south by the Liquid Air facility, and to the west by the Engineering Building (Figure 5-1).

Steel milling and finishing has been carried out in this area since 1910. After the closure of the Wire and Nail Mills in the 1970s, the northern portion of the Nail Mill was used as the electrical linesmen’s shop. Transformer storage and maintenance reportedly took place in this area (pers. comm., G. Petrie, former General Maintenance Foreman).

Aside from the former Nail and Wire Mills, the RFM Lockers and a stables building (later used for iron storage) were located in SCU 11. The stables, which dated to the early 1900s, were demolished around 1960, and the Wire and Nail Mills were demolished as part of the PLI project in 1998. The RFM Locker Rooms were demolished in September 2001, and the entire area is currently vacant.


As no buildings presently exist within this parcel, no hazardous materials associated with the former building were noted except for three electrical switch units stored on the foundation of the former Wire Mill. No obvious staining of the concrete was noted. Underground sewer lines from the Coke Ovens site are suspected to cross this parcel of land, and several derelict rail cars and locomotives are stored in this area.

Several railway tracks are located throughout this area and many have been abandoned and covered with slag for many years. Environmental issues of concern associated with the rail tracks include creosote rail ties and potential contaminated soil under and adjacent to the tracks. In the past, used oil was often used for dust suppression on roadways on the steel plant property.

  Potential Environmental Issues  

Potential environmental issues include residual PCB contamination in soils and on concrete foundations as a result of historic transformer maintenance. Sewers, both from the mills buildings and the Coke Ovens, pass through this area.

Due to its close proximity to the former Coke Ovens and DOMTAR sites (refer to Section 5.2.1), potential environmental issues in SCU 11 include the presence of subsurface soil and groundwater impacts relating to coal tar derivatives such as PAHs, HNCs, and heavy metals.



The Diamond (SCU 36)


Named for the sports field that occupied the northern portion of the site until a few years ago, this area is situated on the south shore of Muggah Creek, at the intersection of Inglis Street and Terminal Road (Figure 5-1). Most of the land contained in this parcel was created through the infilling of Muggah Creek early in the 20th century. Aerial photography from 1939 shows two “fans” of material, presumably blast furnace slag, that have apparently been deposited by railcar or other vehicle.

Over the decades, other waste materials were deposited on top of the slag as witnessed by the piles of material visible in the 1953 air photo. Eventually, the site was graded and a baseball field was constructed at the east end of the site. Today the property is vacant and enclosed by a security fence.

In 1989, Acres International Limited carried out a borehole and soil testing program in the vicinity of SCU 36. They found that the upper eight metres of fill consisted of slag mixed with coal particles and some brick fragments. Below this was found a layer of coal tar contaminated material thought to be Tar Ponds sediment that had been buried by infilling operations. Below this layer was apparently uncontaminated glacial till.

The majority of open space in this area is covered with granular materials. Slopes at certain locations show signs of surface erosion. Overland drainage in the area may present the possibility of siltation and sediment impacts to receiving waters.

  Potential Environmental Issues  

Potential environmental issues associated with this area consist of contaminated sediments underlying the slag fill possible hazardous materials disposed in or on top of the slag fill, and infiltration of the subsurface soils by Tar Ponds contamination.

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