Sydney Tar Ponds Agency

The Sydney Tar Ponds Agency was created by the Province of Nova Scotia.  According to their website, STPA is responsible for the day to day operations and oversight of many technical aspects of the Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens ‘cleanupcoverup.

Their Mission Statement says they will communicate honestly and openly.  Remember this is the same Agency that holds their Community Liaison Committee meetings behind closed doors, excluding the media and those residents most affected by STPA’s on-site activities which have contaminated the air we breathe for months and months.

Here is a recent example of just how ‘open’ they have been with their communications.  Questions were put to the Agency in February 2010 by Debbie Ouellette….questions they could have easily answered but they refused.  The questions were originally sent to Tanya Collier MacDonald, the Communications Manager. Collier MacDonald completely ignored the questions despite repeated requests from Debbie to answer them.  When it was then requested that Donnie Burke, the Project Director, answer these very simple questions, while he acknowledged he knew what the answers were, he wouldn’t provide them in writing.  He said the answers were all within one document.  After repeated attempts without success, to get Burke to answer the questions by providing page numbers from that specific report, the request then went to the CEO of the STPA, Kevin MacDonald.  He refused to even acknowledge receipt of the questions when sent to him several times.  This is what they call communicating openly?

Here are some of the emails of late pertaining to the unanswered questions from February 8, 2010, beginning with the most recent.  The original questions asked are pasted at the bottom of the emails.

—– Original Message —– 

To: Kevin MacDonald
From: Marlene
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 10:31 PM
Subject: Fw: MONTHLY AIR MONITORING REPORTS
Kevin,
As I haven’t heard from you yet, I assume you can’t or won’t answer these questions either.  Is there anyone in your office who can answer them?
Marlene

—– Original Message —– 

To: Kevin MacDonald
From: Marlene Kane
Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 10:34 PM
Subject: Fw: MONTHLY AIR MONITORING REPORTS
Kevin,
For some reason, Donnie is refusing to answer Debbie’s questions by email, even though he has indicated that he knows
where the answers lie within the 100% Design document.  Is there a reason these answers are not being provided in writing?
Debbie has been asking the same questions since February 8, 2010.  As I am confident at this point that Donnie won’t answer
them, because I have been asking him to respond to her since August 10, as you know, I am asking that you answer them.
Thanks,
Marlene

—– Original Message —– 

To: Donnie Burke
From: Marlene Kane
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:38 PM
Subject: Fw: MONTHLY AIR MONITORING REPORTS
Donnie,
There are 1214 pages in the 100% design report when viewing it on the computer.  Please provide the page number beside each question that you feel answers each of Debbie’s questions from the February 8, 2010 email.  If each drawing does not provide the information that will answer each of Debbie’s questions, please just answer the question yourself or have someone on your staff do it.  Explain what the channels will be made of, how wide and deep they will be, etc.  That’s all Debbie is looking for.
Marlene

—– Original Message —– 

From: Donnie Burke
To: Marlene Kane
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:08 PM
Subject: Re: MONTHLY AIR MONITORING REPORTS
As I said the water questions are answered in the hydrology report and the channel construction is on the channel drawings. The information she requires is on the drawings and if she reviewed as she said then she would have missed it. I was simply being polite in saying that I or someone on my staff could help her read/understand the drawings.



To: Donnie Burke
From: Marlene Kane
Sent: Tue Aug 31 22:45:34 2010
Subject: Fw: MONTHLY AIR MONITORING REPORTS

Donnie,
This is becoming more ridiculous by the day.  Debbie asked 7 questions almost 7 months ago, questions
where the answers could all be found within one document, and she can not get these questions answered.  Tanya
ignored Debbie and wouldn’t even acknowledge receipt of Debbie’s email from February 8, 2010, and
now you know the answers but won’t send them.   Page numbers where the information can be found is all that
is being asked.  What exactly is the problem?
Marlene

—– Original Message —– 

To: Donnie Burke
From: Marlene Kane
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 10:52 PM
Subject: Re: MONTHLY AIR MONITORING REPORT
Donnie,
If you are able to point out where the answers lie in the document if Debbie came to the office, then why can’t you just email the page numbers to her that will answer the 7 questions below?  That would be so much easier.
Thank-you,
Marlene

—– Original Message —-
From: Donnie Burke
To: Marlene Kane
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 10:09 PM
Subject: Re: MONTHLY AIR MONITORING REPORTS
I did take a look a while back and sorry I didn’t respond then. Everything is in the 100% Design. Water questions in the hydrology report near the end of the document and channel construction questions are on the the drawings and cross sections. There is no actual verbage describing construction as that is not the norm and like the old saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words. If Debbie would like to come over to the office some time I would be happy to have either myself or a staff member point out where her answers lie. Again sorry for the delay.



To: Donnie Burke
From:  Marlene Kane
Sent: Tue Aug 24 22:02:04 2010
Subject: Fw: MONTHLY AIR MONITORING REPORTS

Donnie,
Debbie said you have not yet responded to the questions below.  Are you working on a response or ignoring them?
Thank-you,
Marlene
__________________________
To: Tanya Collier MacDonald
cc: Kevin MacDonald 

From: Debbie Ouellette
Sent: February-08-10 8:23 PM
Subject: Channel construction – TP6B report

Tanya,

At the last open house I went to, Donnie Burke said the 100% design report would clearly show how the work would be carried out in the Tar Ponds for SS and channel construction, and would be easy for the public to find themself.  I went through the report and need some help finding the answers to these questions.

Where in the TP6B 100% design report does it outline how the channels will be constructed?  I need page numbers for each question.

1) What will the channels be made of?

2) How wide and deep will the channels be?

3)  Will the bottom of the channel go down to the till or will there be SS material under the channel?

4) Will they SS a section of the Tar Ponds first and then dig out the SS’d area to construct channels or will they construct channels first and then SS material around them?

5) description of and diagram showing how water from under the tar ponds will be prevented from coming into contact with the SS material in the Tar Ponds

6) description of and diagram showing how water from the sides of the tar ponds will be prevented from coming into contact with the SS material in the Tar Ponds

7) description of and diagram showing how water from between the cap and the SS material will be collected and discharged (and to where is it discharged?)

Debbie Ouellette

 

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