Tomlinson remediation to wrap up in 2024

Site work is ongoing at the former Universal Terminals property. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – A large-scale remediation project at the Universal Terminals port west of Morrisburg is set to conclude in 2024.

Tomlinson Group of Companies, which bought the terminal and port in 2022, announced last week that its remediation project is nearing the end.

Nearly 120,000 tonnes of soil have been remediated from the former oil tank farm facility as part of the first step of remediation. On-site treatment of the soil is projected by the company to be completed in 2024.

The remediation project at Universal Terminals is a testament to our team’s unwavering commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability,” said company CEO Ron Tomlinson. “By remediating the property, we are creating new possibilities for the site.”

Much of the soil from the property that has been treated will be reused at the site as it meets Ministry of Environment guidelines.

“There has been more work required than initially thought,” spokesperson Megan Tomlinson told The Leader of the scope of the land remediation project.

She added that there has been no impact to the soil of neighbouring properties with the remediation.

The company is using a process known as hydrocarbon bioremediation to treat the soil after excavation.

Using microbes such as bacteria and fungi, pollutants are broken down into natural materials, reclaiming the soil for use.

“Near and long term plans for the port have not yet been decided.” Tomlinson said it is working with businesses and stakeholders in the region to develop plans, “and we look forward to exploring these opportunities in the future.

The cost of the remediation project was not disclosed when asked by The Leader. Tomlinson is doing the remediation work itself and also provides soil remediation services for other clients.

“We do not publicly disclose information considered to be proprietary,” Tomlinson said.

While work on the terminal property clean-up continues, the port has been actively receiving and shipping out bulk items since it was purchased by Tomlinson.

Residents in the area have complained about noise issues around the port, including operation hours.

When asked what measures the company is taking to mitigate noise concerns, especially during the overnight hours at the port, Tomlinson said “the operations are aligned with industry-wide practices for port operation along the St. Lawrence Seaway.”

The South Dundas-based port spanning Lakeshore Drive is the 17th port facility owned by the company and is the only deep-water port located on the St. Lawrence Seaway between Johnstown and Cornwall.

Built in the 1960s as an oil storage facility and tank farm, the property was expanded in the 1980s to add a large salt dock. The property was previously owned by the Cornwall-based Kaneb family.

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