In the late 1980s, the Outboard Marine Corporation of Canada (OMCC) began wrapping up operations at their Peterborough manufacturing facility where they had been building small engines for nearly 75 years.
Environmental investigations by Dillon revealed the presence of a significant number of legacy environmental issues, including a subterranean pool of degreasing fluid used in the manufacturing processes. The pool consisted of an estimated 10,000 litres of dense non-aqueous phase liquid, or “DNAPL,” composed primarily of trichloroethylene. Emanating from this pool was a dissolved-phase groundwater plume of volatile organic compounds extending some 800 metres from the OMCC facility into an area of residential dwellings and small commercial establishments.
In 2000, OMCC filed for creditor protection under Canada’s Companies Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA). The following year Dillon was court-appointed as the Environmental Remediation Receiver (ER Receiver) for OMCC, with a court mandate to act on its behalf on environmental matters. This receivership structure is the first of its kind to be established within the CCAA framework. This project is therefore an example of an engineering firm expanding beyond the boundaries of traditional engineering services.
Between 2001 and 2013, activities to isolate, manage and remediate the DNAPL contamination were implemented. Dillon successfully administered the remediation of the DNAPL pool in 2010 through 2013 using an in situ thermal process, the Electro-Thermal Dynamic Stripping Process (ET-DSP). While this is Canadian technology and has been used successfully in the U.S., this project was the first application of ET-DSP in Canada.
The remediation increased the property values of the adjacent lands. It removed a multi-million dollar environmental liability on property located within the City of Peterborough and it benefits the site’s re-use as a converted brownfield. The ER Receiver concept provided a means of addressing legacy environmental issues left by an insolvent company in an effective manner, avoiding a protracted process that would have delayed or derailed the environmental remediation indefinitely.
In 2015, this project was awarded the Canadian Consulting Engineering Award of Excellence for Environmental Remediation. Click here to view the ACEC Project Video.