Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut April 18, 2012 - 10:57 am

QC firm gets $14.7M contract for DEW line cleanup

Qikiqtaaluk Environmental Inc. of Iqaluit will clean up hazardous waste at abandoned Dew line sites


Workers with Qikiqtaaluk Environmental Inc. of Iqaluit will clean up hazardous waste materials from nine Distant Early Warming sites this summer, Leona Aglukkaq, Nunavut’s MP said April 18 in Iqaluit.

The $14.7 million contract, awarded by Department of National Defence to the subsidiary of Qikiqtaaluk Corp, will create five to 10 jobs locally for workers who will package and prepare toxic waste for shipment to specialized treatment facilities in the South.

“I am very proud of our government’s ongoing commitment to preserving the North, and to supporting this region’s local workers and companies,” Aglukkaq said in a news release announcing the awarding of the contract. “Today’s announcement once again demonstrates our dedication to northern communities by focusing on both the health of our land, and on the people who call it home.”

The DEW line was established in the late 1950s along the Arctic coastline from north-western Alaska to Iceland.

In the early 1960s, 21 of the 42 Canadian DEW line sites were decommissioned and became the responsibility of the federal government.

The remaining 21 sites continued to be operated by DND until 1993, when operations at these sites ended.

In 1989, DND started a plan to clean-up its 21 DEW line sites at a cost currently projected at $575 million, with a completion date of 2013.

To date, 19 of the 21 DEW line sites have been cleaned up and work will continue at two other sites next summer.

A 25-year monitoring program for the completed sites is also underway.

Overall, work planned on the DEW line clean-up project in 2012-13 is expected to provide Nunavut with about 130 jobs lasting from five to 60 days.

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