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INVENTORY OF COAL GASIFICATION 

PLANT WASTE SITES 

IN ONTARIO 

VOLUME I 



1 525 Carling Avenue. Suite 600 
Ottawa. Ontario. Canada K1Z 8R9 
Telephone; (613) 728-6111 
Telecopier: (613) 728-4009 
Telex 053-3935 



Technologies Ltd. 



INVENTORY OF COAL GASIFICATION 

PLAMT WASTE SITES 

IN ONTARIO 

VOLUME I 



Prepared for 

Ontario Ministry of the Environment 

Waste Management Branch 

40 St. Clair Avenue West 

Toronto, Ontario 



Prepared by 

Intera Technologies Ltd. 

Ottawa, Canada 



FINAL REPORT 



H87-017 



April 1987 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 



This report describes the results of an inventory and 
preliminary assessment of potential environmental impacts of 
manufactured gas plant waste sites in the Province of Ontario. 

This study was prompted by the recent discovery of buried 
wastes at sites which were at one time manufactured gas plants. 
Manufactured gas plants produced gas for illumination and heat in 
Ontario for over 100 years from about 1850 to the late 1950s mostly by 
carbonization of coal. In addition to combustible gas, these plants 
produced by-products, such as tars, sludges, liquors and other gas 
cleaning wastes. The chemical groups of primary concern are 
poly nuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and light aromatic 
hydrocarbons. Several compounds in these chemical groups that are 
contained in tars have been documented as cancer-causing. Adverse 
human health effects from exposure to these chemicals is primarily by 
inhalation and dermal contact. 

A four phase approach was used to complete this study. The 
phases were: 1) a historical record search to identify former 
manufactured gas plant waste sites, 2) site reconnaissance visits to 
each site to determine land use and evidence of buried waste, 
3) assessment of potential environmental inpact and 4) development of 
options for further action at each site. 

The historical record search identified Al manufactured gas 
plants in 36 different communities in Ontario. The list of these gas 
plants, together with their street address and approximate years of 
operation are listed in the table accompanying this summary. The 
distribution of these foriner ges plant sites in Ontario is shown on 
Plate 1 in this report. 



11 



The listing describes "town gas" facilities that manufactured 
gas for municipal illumination and heating. Industrial facilities that 
utilized coal carbonization for manufacturing of gas, coke, ammonia and 
other products were not specifically addressed in this study, but an 
overview of these types of plants and others that generated, processed 
and handled tars and sludges containing PAH are provided in Section 5 
of this report. Off-site disposal areas for gas plant wastes are also 
not included in the above listing as a result of a paucity of data. 
Where reported, off-site disposal areas are identified in Appendix B of 
this report on fact sheets for each plant site. 

Site reconnaissance visits were made to all but one of the 
sites identified from the search of historical records. The primary 
purpose of the site reconnaissance visits was to identify any visual 
and olfactory evidence of buried wastes and any environmental impacts 
that may be related to the wastes. Because many of the former 
manufactured gas plant sites are located in developed areas, the site 
reconnaissance visits included inspection of sewers, basements and 
building sumps. Information collected from site inspection, from the 
record search and from municipalities were recorded on a fact sheet for 
each site. 

Using data recorded on the fact sheets and a set of criteria 
developed specifically for former gas plant waste sites, a qualitative 
assessment of potential environmental impacts was performed for each 
site. The assessment criteria are based on characteristics of the 
site, evidence of buried wastes and characteristics of potentially 
impacted resources. Options for further actions at each site are 
developed based on the assessment of potential environmental impact. 

As a minimum, options for further action at every site 
include notification of municipalities and current property owners that 
manufactured gas plant wastes in the form of tars and sludges that 
contain PAH are likely buried on-site. There is strong evidence from 



i.^rrrnik 



iii 



excavation history at other sites to indicate that buried wastes likely 
exist at those manufactured gas plant sites for which little 
information is available on subsurface conditions. Consequently, any 
excavation at these sites, that may disturb the subsurface and 
therefore possibly breach underground waste contaminant structures 
should only be undertaken after review of historical maps and 
performance of exploratory soil borings and in consultation with 
Ontario Ministry of the Environment officials. 

Based on available information, several of the sites 
identified in this study show potential for environmental inpact, as a 
result of confirmed existence of tars and sludges on site that are 
currently or may inpact off-site properties and water resources. These 
sites include in alphabetical order: Belleville, Guelph, Kitchener, 
London, Ottawa (King Edward Avenue), Ottawa (Lees Avenue), 
Peterborough, Port Stanley, St. Thomas, Toronto Station "A", and 
Waterloo. Other sites may be of concern, however based on available 
information it is not possible to confirm waste existence and potential 
environmental impact. 

Site assessment studies, funded by the property owners, are 
currently underway or have been undertaken at the Berrie, Kitchener, 
Ottawa (King Edward Avenue), Ottawa (Lees Avenue), Peterborough, 
Port Stanley, part of Toronto Station "A", Waterloo and Woodstock 
sites. 



iv 



List of Manufactured Gas Plant Sites in Ontario 
1840-1970 



COrttJNITY 



ADDRESS 



APPROXIMATE YEARS 
or OPERATION 



Barrie 

Belleville 

Brampton 
Brant ford 

Brockvllle 

Cambridge (Gait) 

Chatham 

Cobourg 

Cornwall 

Deseronto 

Dundas 



17-31 Kempenfelt Dr. 
between Sampson St. and 
Duckworth St. 

110-118 Church St. 
between St. Paul and 
Dundas St. E. 

Northeast corner of Nelson 
St. and George St. 

East Ave. bounded by 
Alfred, Newport, East and 
Col borne Sts. 

40 St. Paul St. bounded by 
St. Paul and King Sts. and 
Butlers Creek 

140 North Water St. bounded 
by Grand River and opposite 
Simcoe St. 

307 King St. W. bounded by 
Second St., King St. W., 
Third St. and Thames River 

Between Queen and Charles Sts. 
west of McGill St. and east of 
Division St. 

S.W. corner Water St. Z and 
Amelia St. 

South side of Main Street 
between First - Second St. 

43 Cootes Dr. on E. side of 
Thorpe and King St. E. 



1878-1939 

1854-1947 

1888-1917 
1860-1911 

1853-1957 

1887-1911 

1873-1929 

1857-1937 

1882-1929 
1886-1920 
1863-1909 



COMMUNITY 



ADDRESS 



APPROXIMATE YEARS 
OF OPERATION 



Guelph 
Hamilton 



Ingersoll 

Kingston 

Kitchener 

Lindsay 

Llstowel 

London 

Napanee 

Oshawa 

Ottawa 
Owen Sound 



118-12A Fountain St., N.W. 1871-1957 

corner of Fountain & Wyndham Sts. 

1. N. and S. of Mulberry St. 1850-1925 
between Bay North 4 Park 

North St. 

2. Hamilton By-Product Coke 1924-1958 
Ovens, Burlington-Industrial 

Depew St. area 

83 Avonlea St, N. end of Avonlea 1876-1915 
St. at railway tracks 

Bounding blocks, Place D'Armes 1848-1957 
Ontario, Queen, and Barrack Sts. 

Gaukel St. bounded by Joseph and 1882-1958 
Charles Sts. 

66 William St., S.E. corner of 1881-1890 
of William and Wellington Sts. 

46 Elma St. between Livingstone 1891-1915 
Ave. E. and Mai t land River 

Area bounded by Thames, Horton, 1853-1939 
Simcoe, Bathurst and Ridout Sts. 

96 Water St., S.W. 1880-1921 

corner of Water and West Sts. 

1. West comer of Centre and 1903 - 
Bond Sts. before 1928 

2. 80 Emma St. at CN Railway 1901-1954 
Line (Old Prospect St.) 

1. S.W. corner of York and 1854-1915 
King Edward Sts. 

2. 175 Lees Ave. 1920-1957 
1141-1145 First Ave. E. 1888-1947 



COMMUNITY 



ADDRESS 



APPROXIMATE YEARS 
OF OPERATION 



Peterborough 

Port Hope 

Port Stanley 

St. Catharines 

St . Thomas 
Sarnia 

Sault Ste. Marie 

Simcoe 
Stratford 

Toronto 



Waterloo 



N. side of Simcoe St. 1869-1950 

between Queen St. and Railway 
Line, adjacent to Otonabee River 

70-80 3ohn St., W. side of 1859-1938 

3ohn St. between Park and 
Alexander Sts. 

Carlow Road bounded by 19A5-1958 

Marr Rd., Carlow Rd, Lake Rd, 
and George Street 

S. of Gale Crescent, bottom of 1853-1928 

Calvin St., beside Old Wei land 

Canal 

Corner of Mondamin and Gas Sts. 1877-1935 

Maxwell St. bounded by Maxwell, 1884-1909 

Hater, Front Sts. and Railway 

tracks 

Goulais Ave. bounded by Bonney, 1925-1963 

Baseline, Pittsburgh and Goulais 

Sts. 

S.E. corner of Pond and Water Sts. 1891-1910 

Wellington St., bounded by 1879-1953 

St. Patrick, Nelson, St. David 
and Erie Sts. 

1. Station A, 271 Front Street 1841-1954 
area of Princess, Berkeley, 

Front, Parliament and Trinity 
Sts. 

2. 415 Eastern Ave., N.E. 1909-1954 
corner of Booth St. and 

Eastern Ave. 

3. 28 Bathurst St., N.W. corner of 1909-1954 
Bathurst St. and Front St. W. 

E. side of Reglna St. and W. side 1889-1957 
of William St., S. of Laurel Creek 



vii 



CIMUaTY MSRCSS APPROXIMATE YEARS 

or OPERAnON 



Windsor S. of McDougall Ave. opposite 1871-1930 

the S.W. extension of Brant St* 

Woodstock Young St. bounded by Young, Peel, 1876-1919 

Burtch Sts. snd an open area 



viii 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



VOLUME 1 



Page 



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 
LIST OF FIGURES 
LIST OF TABLES 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 



i 

xi 

xii 

xiii 



1. 

1.1 
1.2 
1.3 



INTRODUCTION 

Background 
Objectives 
Scope 



2. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 

2.1 Gas Plant Operation 

2.2 Coal Gasification Plant Wastes and Waste 

Characteristics 

2.3 Behavior of Wastes in the Environment 

2.4 Health Effects 



4 

4 

10 
14 
17 



3. STUDY METHODOLOGY 20 

3.1 Phase 1 - Historical Record Search 20 

3.1.1 Site Location Sources 20 

3.1.2 Site Characterization Sources 23 

3.1.3 General Assessment of Coverage 24 

3.2 Phase 2 - Site Reconnaissance Visits 24 

3.3 Phase 3 - Assessment of Potential Environmental Impact 27 

3.3.1 Fact Sheet Description 27 

3.3.2 Criteria for Assessment of Potential Environmental 

Impact 31 

3.3.2.1 Site Characteristics 31 

3.3.2.2 Evidence of Buried Wastes 35 

3.3.2.3 Resource Characteristics 36 



3.4 



Phase 4 - Development of Options for Further Action 



37 



ix 

TABLE OF CONTENTS (cont'd) 



Page 



4. RESULTS 38 

4.1 List of Manufactured Gas Plant Sites 38 

4.2 Preliminary Aasesament of Potential Environmental 

Inpacts of Manufactured Gas Plants 43 

4.3 Site Descriptions of Manufactured Gas Plants in Ontario 46 

4.3.1 Barrie 46 

4.3.2 Belleville 49 

4.3.3 Branpton 32 

4.3.4 Brentford 54 

4.3.5 Brockville 56 

4.3.6 Cambridge (Gait) 58 

4.3.7 Chatham 60 

4.3.8 Cobourg 62 

4.3.9 Cornwall 64 

4.3.10 Deseronto 66 

4.3.11 Dundas 68 

4.3.12 Guelph 70 

4.3.13 Hamilton - Industrial - Depew Street 72 

4.3.14 Hamilton - Mulberry Street 74 

4.3.15 Ingersoll 76 

4.3.16 Kingston 78 

4.3.17 Kitchener 80 

4.3.18 Lindsay 84 

4.3.19 Listowel 86 

4.3.20 London 86 

4.3.21 Napanee 92 

4.3.22 Oshawa - Bond Street 94 

4.3.23 Oshawa - Emma Street 96 

4.3.24 Ottawa - King Edward Ave. 98 

4.3.25 Ottawa - Lees Ave. 101 

4.3.26 Owen Sound 104 

4.3.27 Peterborough 106 

4.3.28 Port Hope 109 

4.3.29 Port Stanley 111 

4.3.30 St. Catharines 114 

4.3.31 St. Thomas 116 

4.3.32 Sarnia 119 

4.3.33 Sault Ste. Marie 121 

4.3.34 Simcoe 123 

4.3.35 Stratford 125 

4.3.36 Toronto - Station A 127 



TABLE OF CONTENTS (concluded) 



A. 3. 37 


Toronto - Station B 


4.3.38 


Toronto - Station C 


4.3.39 


Waterloo 


4.3.40 


Windsor 


4.3.41 


Woodstock 



Page 



133 
137 
139 
142 
144 



5. OTHER SITES POSSIBLY RELATED TO COAL TAR WASTES 147 

3.1 Gas Plants Associated with By-Product Plants of the 

Steel Industry 147 

5.2 Gas Plants Associated with Ammonia/Tertilizer 

Manufacturing 148 

5.3 Manufactured Gas Plants for Industrial Light and Heat 149 

5.4 Wood Preservative Plants 149 

5.5 Pintsch Gas Plants 150 

5.6 Manufactured Gas Plants for Metal Refining 151 

5.7 Tar Distillation Industries 151 



REFERENCES 153 



xi 
LIST OF FIGURES 



Page 



Figure 2.1 Intermittent Vertical Retort (ERT, 1984) 6 

Figure 2.2 Continuous Vertical Retort (ERT, 1984) 6 

Figure 2.3 Blue Gas Producer (ERT, 1984) 8 

Figure 2.4 Carburetted Water Gas Producer (ERT, 1984) 8 

Figure 2.5 An Example of a Gas Plant with both Retort Gas and 
Water Gas Facilities (Source: Fire Insurance Plan, 
Public Archives Canada, NMC-10837, 259/263) 9 

Figure 2.6 Material Flow Schematic for a Typical Retort 

Gas Plant 11 

Figure 2.7 Material Flow Schematic for a Typical Water Gas 

Plant (After Morgan, 1945, p. 1722) 12 

Figure 3.1 Fact Sheet for Survey of Coal Gasification Plant 

Waste Sites. 28 



xii 
LIST OF TABLES 



Page 



Table 2.1 Typical Chemical Compoaition of a Coal Tar 

(After ERT, 1984) 15 



Table 2.2 Carcinogenic Activity of Some Unsubatituted 

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbona (after ERT, 1983) 18 



Table 3.1 Aaaeaament Criteria for Potential Environmental 
Irrpacta of Manufactured Gaa Plant Waate Sitea in 
Ontario 32 



Table 4.1 Liat of Manufactured Gaa Plant Sitea in Ontario 39 

Table 4.2 Aaaeaament of Potential Environmental Inpacta of 

Manufactured Gaa Plant Waate Sitea in Ontario 44 



xiii 



ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 



Through the course of this study Inters Technologies Ltd. 
(INTERA) have benefited from the assistance of numerous individuals, 
groups and organizations. INTERA would like to thank the following for 
their co-operation in this study and without whom the study would have 
been incomplete: 

• Ontario Ministry of the Environment - Waste Management 
Branch 



Ontario Ministry of the Environment - Region and District 
Offices 



• Consumers Gas Ltd. and Union Gas Ltd. 

• The Communities and Municipalities of Ontario 

• Private Property Owners 

• Concerned Citizens 

Margaret Carter of Heritage Preservation Research completed 
the search of historical records pertaining to coal gasification plants 
in Ontario. 



1. INTRODUCTION 

1.1 BACKGROUND 

During spring and summer 1986, buried wastes were discovered 
in close proximity to sites which at one time were occupied by 
manufactured gas plants. Manufactured gas plants produced gas for 
illumination and heat in Ontario for over 100 years, from about 1850 to 
the late 1950*8, by carbonization of coal or oil. Subsequent 
availability of electricity and natural gas caused many of the 
manufactured gas plants to be uneconomical and close down, some as 
early as 1890, many in the 1920*8 and 30*s. In addition to combustible 
gas, gas plants produced tars, sludges, liquors and other gas cleaning 
wastes, that contain chemicals hazardous to human health. Although 
many of these by-products were sold for refining and reuse, some 
by-products were often buried at plant sites both during plant 
operation and plant demolition. 

In May 1986, coal tar wastes, a by-product of manufactured 
gas production, were discovered in a transitway pumping station and in 
the adjacent Rideau River in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa 
Carleton. In July 1986, excavation for the construction of a new City 
Hall in Waterloo unearthed two large tanks containing coal tar wastes. 
At both of these sites, the buried wastes were encountered unexpectedly 
during excavation and were only associated with a former manufactured 
gas plant after review of historical records. 

In response to the discovery of manufactured gas plant wastes 
in Ottawa and Waterloo, the Ontario Ministry of the Environment 
commissioned this study to identify and assess the potential 
environmental iirpact of former manufactured gas plant waste sites in 
the Province of Ontario. 



The information collected during this study is expected to be 
of use to municipalities, land owners and developers and will likely 
form the basis for further investigations and possible remedial actions 
at individual sites. 



1.2 



OBJECTIVES 



The objectives of this study were threefold; 

i) establish a comprehensive inventory of manufactured gas 
plant waste sites in the Province of Ontario; 

ii) assess the potential environmental inpact of each 
identified waste site and; 

iii) develop options for further actions which more clearly 
define the chemical nature and physical extent of 
wastes and potential environmental impact at each site. 

A four phase approach was adopted to meet the study 
objectives: 

Phase 1 - Historical record search 

Phase 2 - Site reconnaissance visits 

Phase 3 - Assessment of potential environmental inpact 

Phase A - Development of options for further actions 



More detailed descriptions of the study approach and each 
work phase are provided in Section 3 of this report. 



1.3 SCOPE 

This report describes the results of a study which provides 
an inventory and prelindnary assessment of manufactured gas plant waste 
sites in the Province of Ontario. The study scope is restricted to 
waste sites that were associated with gas manufacturing for municipal 
illumination and heating, or 80-<:alled "town gas" facilities. Waste 
sites associated with industrial facilities that utilized coal 
carbonization for manufacturing of gas, coke, ammonia, and other 
products were not addressed in this study. These facilities include 
fertilizer plants, coke ovens, creosote plants and metal refining 
operations as well as large industrial users of manufactured gas. Many 
of these industrial sites remain in use today as controlled-access, 
industrial properties and therefore are likely of less concern than 
decommissioned and forgotten "town gas" waste sites. This study has 
also not considered secondary tar reprocessing and refining industries 
that utilized tars produced by the carbonization of coal and oil in the 
manufacturing of various oils, coatings and refined tar products. 
These facilities include roofing tar plants, creosote or wood 
preservative plants, and varnish and tar paper manufacturing 
facilities. 

Section 3 of this report summarizes the waste sites 
identified during this study thst were not associated with "town gas" 
plants and were not within the terms of reference of this study as 
defined above. This listing is not complete and is presented to 
provide an indication of other types of facilities that handled or 
generated wastes similar to those associated with "town gas" plants. 
The inventory and assessment of "town gaa" waste sites is as complete 
aa historical records will allow. 



2. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 

2.1 GAS PLANT OPERATION 

In Ontario, the use of gas manufactured from coal or oil 
began in the mid ISOOs and continued until the mid 19308. In the late 
ISOOs and early 19008 many gaa plants were initiated to provide gas for 
street lights, appliances, furnaces and some industrial engines. A 
local gas operation was considered an economic benefit to the community 
and a aource of considerable civic pride. Consequently, the operation 
of the gas facilties were typically taken over from private owners by 
the municipality early in the life of the gas plant and operated as a 
local utility in nuch the same manner as hydroelectric power is today. 

Most of the gas plants in Ontario were operated until a more 
economical source of gas or hydroelectric power was available. In some 
comnunities in Southern Ontario, gas was available from natural gas 
fields and therefore city operated gas plants may have had short lives 
or were operated intermittently. Many communities also depended 
heavily on hydroelectric power and may not have required gas or 
received gas via pipelines from adjacent communities. By the early 
1950s inexpensive natural gas, brought to Ontario by pipeline from 
western Canada, made moat manufactured gaa plants obsolete. 

Many different types of gas generating processes were in 
operation in Ontario, and many gas plants used several different 
processes or changed the manufacturing process during the life of the 
plant. Easentially, the process consisted of heating coal whereby the 
gaseous (volatile) components of the coal are removed and collected. 
The different processes for generating gas result from the various 
methods used to separate the volatile components from the coal. Types 
of manufactured gas, esch using a slightly different process, include 



the followingi 

• coal carbonization; 

• blue gaa; 

• water gaa; and 

• producer gas. 

An excellent review of manufactured gaa proceaaea and 
environmental aapecta of gaa plants ia provided by Environmental 
Research and Technology Inc. (ERT) and Koppers Company Inc. (1984). 
Many of the following deacriptiona of gas processes were taken from 
this coirprehensive handbook. 

Coal carbonization involved the treatment of coal by heat at 
either low or high tenperatures in the ebaence of air to drive off the 
volatile componenta from the coal. The resultant products are a fuel 
gaa and coke. The carbonizing of coal can be achieved in gaa retorta 
or coke ovena. Gaa retorta are eaaentially large, semi cylindrical, 
fire brick or silica ovens with the axis of the cylinder oriented 
either horizontally, inclined or vertically. The vertical retort was 
the most common and conaiated of either an intermittent or a continuoua 
method of recharging the coal. The intermittent vertical retort 
(Figure 2.1) cerbonizea the coal in batchea while the continuous method 
(Figure 2.2) rechargea the coal on a continuoua basis. Gas produced by 
the retort method is generally high in hydrogen, methane, and carbon 
monoxide with a heating value of about 525 Btu/ft' (ERT, 1984). Coke 
ovena are aimilar in concept to gaa retorta in that coke is derived 
from bituminous coal from which the volatile constituents have been 
driven off by heat. The volatile constituents, after removal of tars, 
ammonia and other inpuritiea yield a gaa of high heating value. Coke 
ovena are typically by-product gas producera simply because they are 
uaed primarily to produce metallurgical coke for use in steel making. 



U.G.I. INTERMITTENT RETORT 

GAS PROCESS FLOW 

COAL 
I CHARGINO 
^^ CAB C > OOWNCOMER 
WASTE GAS TO 
RECUPERATOR. 
WASTE HEAT 
BOILER AND 
STACK 




COKE\ ) / 



D a 



COMBUSTION TO 

AIR FROM DECANTER t 
RECUPERATOR SEAL POT 



PRODUCT GAS 

TO BOOSTER 

AND SULFUR REMOVAL 



KOPPERS-van ACKEREN CONTINUOUS RETORT 

GAS PROCESS FLOW 



COMBUSTION 

AIR FROM 

REGENERATORS'] 



FUEL CAS 



WATER SPRAY 



, OOWNCOMER 




GAS HOLDER 



TO 



PRODUCT GAS 

TO BOOSTER 

AND 0ESULFURIZAT10N 



Figure 2.1 (Top) Intermittent Vertical Retort 
Figure 2.2 (Bottom) Continuous Vertical Retort 
(ERT, 1984) 



Blue gas, produced by passing steam over incandescent coke, 
results in the production of a gas composed predominantly of carbon 
monoxide and hydrogen gas. The production of blue gas is completed in 
a cyclic operation. Initially the coke is combusted with the aid of 
blasts of air. Once the coke reaches a high temperature the air is 
shut off and steam is introduced through the coke bed generating the 
blue gas. Because the introduction of steam cools the coke beds it is 
necessary to interrupt the gas generation periodically to reheat the 
coke beds with air blasts. The blue gas has a heating value of about 
300 Btu/ft^. An example of a blue gas producer is shown in 
Figure 2.3. 

Water gas or carburetted water gas (Figure 2.4) is produced 
by cracking oil in the presence of blue gas and steam. The method is 
similar to that used for blue gas except that oil is added to the blue 
gas in a carburetor to form a blue gas/oil gas and steam mixture. The 
oil gas is then cracked (i.e., the oil is reduced to lower hydrocarbon 
gases) in a superheater and cleaned in a wash box to produce a gas of 
hi^ heating value (up to 1000 Btu/ft^ but typically 530 Btu/ft^). 
As in the production of blue gas, water gas production is done on a 
cyclic basis. 

Producer gas is obtained by the partial combustion of coal or 
coke in air. This gas was typically aaaociated with coke oven 
batteries and was used to underfire the ovens thus generating increased 
quantities of the more valuable coke oven gas. Producer gas was 
typically low in heating value (less than 200 Btu/ft'). 

In Ontario, most of the gas plants started out as retort gas 
plants and those plants that continued into the 1920's or 30*8 were 
either converted to water gas plants or had water gas facilities added 
to the site. An example of a gaa plant (Ottawa Lees Avenue, 1922) with 
both retort gas and water gas facilities is shown in Figure 2.5. 



BLUE GAS PRODUCER 

GAS PROCESS FLOW 




BLUE GAS 

TO BOOSTER 

AND 

OESULFUmZATION 



SECONDARY 
AIR 



WASH I 

TO DECANTER 



CARBURETED WATER GAS PRODUCER 

GAS PROCESS FLOW 




WASH BOX t SEAL POT < 

TO DECANTER TO DECANTER 



Figure 2.3 (Top) Blue Gas Producer 

Figure 2.4 (Bottom) Carburetted Water Gas Producer 

(ERT, 1984) 



10 



Regardless of the method used to produce the gas it was 
necessary to clean the gas to make a useable proAjct for consumers. 
The clean-up techniques consisted of cooling the gas and condensing and 
removing tars, liquors, and sludges followed by sulfur removal using 
oxide boxes. The processes for cleaning the gas are shown 
schematically in Figure 2.6 for a retort gas operation and in 
Figure 2.7 for a water gas plant. Most of the facilities shown in 
Figures 2.6 and 2.7 are indicated on the gas plant layout shown in 
Figure 2.5. 

2.2 COAL GASIFICATION PLANT WASTES AND WASTE CHARACTERISTICS 

The major types of wastes and by-products generated in the 
coal gasification process include: 

• tars; 

• sludges: 

• tar liquors and ammonia liquors; 

• spent iron oxide; 

• ash, slag, cinders; 

• dust, off-grade coal and coke. 

From an environmental hazard point of view, the important gas 
plant wastes are tar residues and sludges and spent oxide wastes. 

Tar residues and sludges are produced in the gas clean-up 
process during the cooling, condensation and scrubbing of the raw gas. 
On-site tar storage areas, consisting of underground tanks or wells, 
are usually found adjacent to the condenser or purifying houses. Tar 
dehydrators and tar separators will also contain tar and may be found 
as underground or above ground storage tanks. Pipelines running from 
the production areas to the tar storage areas may also contain tar. 



IOT£R2 



11 



Rttart HouM 



QH 



Condtmer Exhouttar 



» 



L£ 



WMtWf 

Tor Scnib6«r 

Extractor 



T T 




Tar T Liquor 
Woll Wtll 



6 



COflMIMT 



Mctvrin^ 



PurHlar 



ProMur* 
Boeotor 



Orwm ky 



OMdMd by 



Figure 2.6 Material flow schematic for a 
typical retort gas plant 



I NTtPA T«chnologl«8 



12 




fvti or Got 



Air and VMori* GoMt 

- — - Wottr or Tor 
— — — ^ StMm 



Tor 
Estroctor 



^- ConMintr 



Oii n rii ky 



Figure 2.7 Material flow schematic for a 
typical water gas plant (After Morgan, 
1945, p. 1722) 



I ISmPA TechnologU 



13 



Other locations of residual tar may be associated with the base of the 
relief gas holder which would have contained raw gas prior to clean-up 
and to a lesser extent the base of the main gas holding tank. 

The tar produced at a gas plant was considered a valuable 
by-product and was often sold to tar distillation plants or domestic 
consumers. The off-site distillation plants refined the tar to produce 
such products as naphthalene, creosote, heavy oil, and roofing and road 
tars. Consequently, little tar was likely to be disposed on-site 
except when production was greater than demand or where spillage might 
occur in loading areas. Tar remaining on-site after plant demolition 
may be found in the original storage areas if the containers are 
intact. If storage tanks or other tar containing structures are 
ruptured during demolition or other on-site excavation or construction, 
free tar and tar contaminated soil may be widespread across the plant 
site. 

Coal tar and coal tar contaminated material is easily 
identifiable when encountered because of its distinctive odour which 
resembles creosote or roofing tar. The tar is typically a brown to 
black resinous material with a consistency varying from a light oil to 
a heavy tar. It is immiscible with, and heavier than, water and 
therefore exhibits density - dependent flow characteristics. When in 
contact with surface water, coal tar may release a lighter-than-water 
phase which causes an oily sheen on the water surface. 

Immiscible coal tar in surface water will sink to the bottom 
of the water body and will collect in depressions. 

Spent oxide is a waste product that resulted from the removal 
of sulphur and nitrogen-containing iirpurities from the manufactured gas 
by adsorption onto iron oxide (ERT, 1984). These wastes contain high 
concentrations of sulphur, cyanide, and ammonia compounds, most of 
which are chemically bound with iron. Their characteristic blue-grey 



14 

colour caused by ferrocyanlde complexes make them readily Identifiable 
upon discovery. Such Identification Is possible In soils with little 
as IS spent oxide. 

Oxide wastes were typically disposed of on-site or adjacent 
to the site using standard landfllllng techniques of the time. 

The ash, slag, clinkers, dust and off grade coal and coke were 
often disposed on-site or as part of adjacent landfllllng operations. 
These wastes are relatively Inert, although they may leach traces of 
heavy metals. 

2.3 BEHAVIOUR OF WASTES IN THE ENVIRONMENT 

The major chemicals associated with gas plant waste that may 
pose an environmental hazard are: 

• Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH); 

• Phenols: 

• Light aromatlcs; 

• Inorganic sulfur and nitrogen species: 

• Trace metals. 

PAH, phenols and light aromatlcs are derived primarily from 
the tar sludges and llquora. Table 2.1 (after ERT, 1984) shows the 
typical chemical compoaltlon of a coal tar. Inorganic species and 
trace metala are derived primarily from the oxide box wastes and the 
ammonia liquors. Trace metals may also be generated to a lesser extent 
from disposal of ashes and cinders. 

The tars are mainly made up of polynuclear aromatic 
hydrocarbons which are compounds consisting of two or more fused 
benzene rings. PAH compounds are those listed below pyridine In 
Table 2.1. The physical properties of PAH are dependent on the 



15 



Table 2.1 Typical chemical composition of a coal tar 
(After ERT, 1984) 



Coapownt 



Forauls 



••■i«a« 


V6 


Tolu«n« 


«=7". 


Iyl«M«s 


V«10 


Phenol 


C^H,O.I 


CrcMis 


S"7°" 


lylanoli 


CjHjOil 


Pxridin* 


CjlljH 


Naphthalan* 


So". 


Nathjflnaphthalenat 


Sl"lO 


OiMathxlnaphthalanat 


*^l2"l2 


Acanaphthana 


'^I2"l0 


Carhatola 


c„v 


Fluorcna 


S3"lO 


Aathraccna 


SV'lO 


Phanaathran* 


S4"|0 


Fluoraothan* 


S6"l0 


Pjrrana 


*'I6"|0 


Chrjrtana 


S."l2 


Mm (a )anthracana 


S."l2 


Banio(J)riuorantbana 


So"l2 


l«n(o(k)riiiorantli««« 


So"l2 


••nio(a)pyren« 


*^20*'|2 


Banxo(a)pyrana 


*'20"l i 


Parylana 


^20"l2 


•Mio(g>.i)p«rylan« 


S2"l2 


tanzo{b)chrx*ana 


S2''h 


Oibisni(a.h)anihrac ana 


S2"m 



Structura 


^ 


6 
S 


^ 


k 


<$ 


€e 



& 



Cl^ 



^CJ^ 




PoUt. **C^*^ 



M 

111 
lSC-144 

Itl 
191-202 
201-227 

US 

211 

24I-24S 
262-269 

277 

ISS 

297 

MO 

MO 

593 

394 

436 

43* 
"MM 

410 

496 

493 

460 

SOO 
^^00 



16 



structure of individual compounds. The aqueous solubility of each 
compound decreases as the molecular weight of the compound increases. 
Therefore those compounds with a simple structure have higher 
solubilities than those with a complicated structure. A similar 
relationship exists for volatility of PAH as is shown in Table 2.1 by 
the increase in boiling point temperature with increase in molecular 
weight. PAH are atrongly absorbed and immobilized in soils and are 
also susceptable to biodegradation by microorganisms. As a result of 
these properties, PAH tend to be relatively immobile in the 
environment. However, the fact that they occur in tars and that tars 
can migrate as an immiscible heavier-than-water phase increases their 
mobility and potential environmental inpact. 

Phenolics (e.g., phenol, cresol and xylenol in Table 2.1) are 
highly soluble with low sorption and high biodegradeability and 
therefore are expected to be highly mobile in groundwater. 

Light aromatics, such as benzene, xylene and toluene 
(Table 2.1) are moderately soluble, and biodegradeable with high 
volatility and low sorption. They are expected to be relatively mobile 
in groundwater systems. However the presence of these compounds will 
be largely determined by their volatility. It is unlikely that benzene 
or toluene would be detected in waste products that have been exposed 
to air for any significant period of time. 

Inorganic sulphur and nitrogen species are usually stable 
under most normal pH and Eh conditions in groundwater systems. Ammonia 
and cyanide in spent oxide wastes may be leached under acidic 
conditions, but these compounds are also known to readily biotransform 
in aerated soils to simpler nitrite and nitrate compounds. 

Most trace metals leached from manufactured gas plant wastes 
are relatively insoluble and highly sorbed. 



17 

2.4 HEALTH EFFECTS 

The environmental impact and risk associated with 
manufactured gas plant wastes are derived from exposure and/or contact 
with hazardous substances. The hazardous substances of primary concern 
in this respect are associated with coal tar wastes, particularly 
poly nuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and light aromatic hydrocarbons (ERT, 
1983; 1984). The environmental impact from these substances results in 
adverse effects on human health and aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. 
The most adverse effect associated with PAH and light aromatic 
hydrocarbons, is the increased incidence of cancer (ERT, 1984). Health 
effects associated with PAH are documented in the literature because of 
their ubiquitous presence in the environment. PAH are found in 
polluted air, tobacco smoke, cooking products, soots, tars, and oils. 
PAH are formed in a variety of hydrocarbon combustion processes 
routinely exposing most people to very low levels of PAH. In general, 
PAH are a large group of chemicals (Table 2.1) of which only a few have 
been suitably tested with respect to human health effects. The major 
routes of PAH adsorption are through inhalation and cutaneous exposure 
(Occupational Health Program, McMaster University, 1986). 

The carcinogenic activity of various PAH is given in 
Table 2.2 from ERT (1983). In general, the toxicity of PAH in various 
species increases as the molecular weight of the compound increases. 
This effect is tempered somewhat by differences in solubility in that 
the heavier compounds are less soluble and, therefore, less mobile in 
aqueous environments. PAH are noted to bioaccumulate in animal tissue 
of aquatic organisms and also are accumulated by adsorption in plants. 
The adsorption tends to be onto root surfaces as opposed to into the 
plant structure and, therefore, does not accumulate in the plant 
itself. 

Single ringed, light aromatic hydrocarbons found at 
manufactured gas plants generally consist of the toxic compounds 
benzene, toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene. Of these compounde, benzene 



• 


(c, 


,<1) 


*• 


(c; 


) 


- 






« 


(c 


• d) 


* 


(c 


.d) 


* 


(c 


.d) 



18 

Table 6.1 Carcinogenic Activity. of Some Unsubstituted Polycyclic 
Aromatic Hydrocarbons^® UERT, 1983) 

Coaooond ActivUj; 

Ae«n«pbttirl«a« 

Anthantiir«n« 

tBthr«o*n« 

B«i«oC»]n«phthac«n« - 

B«J*o[«]pyp«n« ♦ '«•"' 

BMSoCblchiTrsM* ■ , ., 

B«n2o[b]fluoranth«nt ♦ '<=.<" 

B««oCb]fluop«n« 

B«ntoCc]chnr3«n« * 

Benzoic ]fluor«n« 

Benzoic Ipbaaanthrvi* - * 

Benxo [• ]pyr«o« 

BenzoCgichnraene * 

Benzo Cgbl ]fluoranChana 

B«izoCghi]p«nrl«n« • 

B«nzoij]fluormathen« • (c) 

Benzo Oc ] fluormnthene 

Benz Ca ]anttir«cene 

Qiryaene 

Coronene 

Dlbenzo [a , e ]py rene 

DlbeBzoi»,h]pyr«»« 

Dlbenzo i«, I jpyrene 

Dlbenzo [«, J ]n«pbth«cene 

Dlbenzo it, lipy«>« * 

Dlbenzo ib , g ipbenanthrene 

Dlbenzo Cb ,k Jchpysene 

Dlbenzo ide ,qr ]napbthacene 

Dlbenzo [e,l]pyreBe 

DlbenzC*,c]mnthrmceae • 

DlbenzC»,h]«nthr»cene ♦ lc,i) 

DlbeBzCa.ji^nthrmcene • 

riuortnthene 

riuopene 

Sexmcene " , 

IfldenoCl,2,3-«13pyrene • ^^•'^' 

Haphtbkcene 

laphtbalene 

IUpbtboC2.3-bIpyrene * 

Haucene 

PeaCapbene 

PerylMte 

Rienanchrene 

Pleene • 

Pyreue • 

TrlbeozoCaellpyreae « 

Trlphenylaoe • 



•Oete fro* Shear, 1958, 1941; Arcoa and Argua, 1974; Oipple, 1976; 
Santodonato et al., 1981 

'>Syrt)ol8! ♦ cociplete carcinogen by either akin painting, aubcutaneoua injection, 
intramuacular injection, intravenoua injection, intraperitoneal injection, 
intratracheal inatlUation, oral adminiatration to mannBla 

- negative in aninal bioaaaay 

"H:oiipound8 claaairied aa "having aubatantial evidence of carcinogenicity" by the U.S. 
EPA Carcinogen AaaeasBent Croup (U.S. EPA, 19e0b). The CAG liat alao includea two 
alkylated PAH (7, 12-dl»Bthylbenz(a)anthracene and J-methylcholenthrene), aa well aa 
"coal tar and aoot", "coke oven eniaalona (polycyclic organic Better)" and "creoaote" 

•toapounda claaaified aa ahowing "aufriclent evidence" of carcinogenicity for animal 
carclnogena by the International Agency for Reaearch on Cancer. 



jTtr 



19 

is the most toxic because of its carcinogenic health effects (USEPA, 
1980a). The cominon method of human exposure is by inhalation due to 
the volatile nature of the light aromatics. 

Chronic exposure to benzene has the most serious health 
effects of the li^t aromatics because of its increased risk for the 
development of Leukemia (ERT, 1984). All of the light aromatic 
hydrocarbons affect the central nervous system with acute symptoms 
including headache, dizziness, fatique, nausea, unconsciousness and 
cona* 

In aquatic ecosystems, the light aromatic hydrocarbons are 
moderately toxic to fish and lower apecies. Toxic levels of benzene, 
toluene, and xylene generally range from 1 to lOO's of mg*L"^. 
For exanple, rainbow trout was found to have an LC-50 (lethal 
concentration for 50 percent of the population) of 5.3 mg*L~^ for 
benzene (USEPA, 1980a). 

A recent Ontario Ministry of Labour sponsored study, 
(Occupational Health Program, McMaster University, 1986) provides a 
comprehensive review of the available scientific evidence relating to 
health effects of coal tar and other substances which contain 
polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. This study concludes that there is 
sufficient evidence concerning human carcinogenic potential of coal tar 
products in the literature to warrant stringent control of workplace 
exposures. This study recommends an interim standard for occupational 
exposure to volatiles of coal tar products at 0.05 mg/m-' (cyclohexane 
soluable extract) time weighted over an 8 hour working day and zero 
dermal exposure. 



20 



3. STUDY METHODOLOGY 

3.1 PHASE 1 - HISTORICAL RECORD SEARCH 

The search of historical records was undertaken to provide a 
liat of manufactured gas plant waste sites. This involved the 
identification of manufactured gas plant sites as well as any 
historical information describing possible off-site disposal of gas 
plant wastes. Only limited data describing the off-site disposition of 
gas plant waste was available from historical records. Therefore, the 
review of historical records focussed on identification and 
characterization of manufactured gas plants sites. 

The method used in this phase relied upon review of a limited 
number of well selected historical sources to both identify the 
existence and exact location of sites, and to obtain a comparitive, 
shallow level of information for each site. The key to this method was 
the selection of appropriate historical source materials. The 
historical source materials used in this study of listed in Appendix A. 
Historical source materials can be grouped by use according to site 
location and site characterization tasks. 

3.1.1 Site Location Sources 

Sources used for the identification of manufactured gas plant 
locations varied from period to period. In each case, they were 
selected by the following criteria: comprehensiveness of coverage, 
degree of reliability of information contained, degree of aite 
specificity of information contained, potential for including other 
information (i.e., on relative size, equipment or processes) of 
relevance to the general purposes of the study. 



21 



The sources used to obtsin information in various periods are 
listed as follows: 

1830-1870 - lists of Canadian gas plants included in the 
North American gas industry publication, the 
American Gas-Light Oournal. This information 
was cross-checked in Ontario Directories for 
the period. 

1870-1905 - lists of Canadian gas plants included in 
published Census material which, for this 
period are very specific about location, number 
of employees. This information was further 
developed by use of the Baudouin Index to 
Incorporated Bodies, which provided a list of 
the gas companies permitted to operate gas 
plants during the period (whether they actually 
did or not), and refined through the use of 
both general business directories of the 
province of Ontario and local directories when 
they were available. Directory sources were 
selected as they provide an immediate picture 
of annual developments. In a few cases, 
coowunity historical societies and archives 
were consulted to confirm the existence of 
plants that proved inpossible to verify. 



1905-1920 - after the founding of the Canadian Gas 
Association, the association provided detailed 
listings of the names, locations, equipment, 
methods and ownership of gas plants operating 
in the province in its monthly Intercolonial 
Gas Journal. This material was further 



22 



developed by information obtained through 
Ontario government records on company 
incorporations, and Ontario Energy Board 
franchise agreements and by-laws. It was also 
cross-checked with information on municipally 
owned utilities contained in the report of the 
Select Committee on Municipal Trading and 
Municipal Ownership of Public Utilities, 1903. 

1919-1959 - after the Dominion Bureau of Statistics was 
established in 1918, yearly lists of plants 
producing "Gas for Illumination and Fuel 
Purposes" were issued, as were lists of plants 
in the "Coke and Coke By-Products" industry. 
Until 1939, these lists were issued under the 
Non-Metallic Minerals category; after 1940 they 
are issued as separate reports on the coke and 
gas industry. These reports were followed 
until the category "Gas for Illumination and 
Fuel Purposes" ended in 1959. 

This material was further developed by 
information obtained from Ontario government 
records of the Ontario Energy Board, and 
correspondence of the special fuel controller 
appointed in the province in 1922-28 to 
co-ordinate the disposition of scarce coal 
resources. Later (post 1955) listings were 
cross-checked in the Canadian Gas Association's 
Directory of Canadian Gas Utilities. 



23 



3.1.2 Site Characterization Socirces 

Every atten^^t was made to obtain a description of tne 
evolution of various manufactured gas plant aitea over time to ensure 
changes in their disposition over tine (and therefore a record of 
landfill, buried tanks, and changed location of gas holding tanks! *as 
recorded. 

Historical sources used for the early period included Bird's 
Eye views, county maps, and county atlaa material, selected in each 
case for the specific details included on aite cisposition. 

Once fire insurance plans appeared in any community, they 
became the major source used. Such plans were reviewed whenever t^e> 
existed, although only those showing site changes, or a range of tine 
(i.e., earliest and latest) were purchased. Review of these sources 
was restricted to the three major collections of fire insurance plans 
in the province, those at the Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa, the 
Ontario Archives, Toronto, and the Regional Collection at the 
University of Western Ontario, London. Enquiries were made tc Iccal 
archives when plana for specific comnunities were not available in the 
major collections, and some additional materials have been obtained in 
this way. Corporate archives such as those of Ontario Hydro and 
Consumers Gas were also contacted and additional site specific 
information was obtained from these sources. The preparation of fire 
insurance plans stopped in the late 19$0s, and such plans are net 
available for many commjnities after the 19308 or 19A0a. 

Some additional maps of gas plant operations were obtained 
from current Public Utilities Commissions who at one time owned or 
operated manufactured gas plants in individual towns and cities. 



24 



3.1.3 General Asaessment of Coverage 

The inventory aapecta of thia atudy (i.e., the identification 
of manufactured gaa plants constructed for the purpose of municipal 
illumination and heating) have been carefully covered in a clear and 
methodical fashion. The resultant inventory is thought to be as 
cooplete as sources of general manufactured gas data and specific 
historical mapping techniques allow. 

While the coverage provided by the review of historical 
records is thought to be comprehensive and verified by cross 
referencing between sources, it is possible that small manufactured gas 
plants that operated for periods of less than 10 years may not be 
identified. Such an omission, if it occurred, is not expected to be 
significant because of the likely small volume of wastes generated by 
such a facility and the low potential environmental impact demonstrated 
by similar-sized sites that were identified in this study. 

Assessment of the relisbility of the inventory aspects of 
this study is alao provided from the results of similar identification 
studies undertaken in parallel by Consumers Gas Co. Ltd. and Union Gas 
Ltd. for their respective gas distribution areas in Ontario. The 
results of the inventory aspects of the study reported herein are 
consistent with manufactured gas plants identified in these other 
studies. 

3.2 PHASE 2 - SITE RECONNAISSANCE VISITS 

Reconnaissance viaits and on-site inspections were undertaken 
for all plant sites, except the Sault Ste. Marie site, identified from 
Phase 1 activities. The principal purpose of site reconnaissance and 
inapection was to identify any evidence of waatea by visual and 
olfactory inspection and any environmental impacts that may be related 
to the wastes. The site reconnaissance also served to Identify land 



25 



use on-site and off-site, site conditions and site access for possible 
future investigations and to obtain photographs of and additional local 
information on the site. Waste site reconnaissance work undertaken as 
part of thia phase did not involve subsurface investigations, such as 
drilling and soil sanpling. 

The approach to site reconnaissance was to utilize a 

consistent and thorough inspection of the waste site in conjunction 

with available air photos, gas plant plans, and plans of underground 
utilities including storm sewers. 

The data collected from site reconnaissance visits included: 

• Visual evidence of tarry wastes and spent oxide wastes at 
surface and, in the near surface; 

• Olfactory evidence of wastes both on- and off-site; 

• Visual evidence of water pollution in surface waters and 
groundwaters; 

• Confirmation of current land use both on- and off -site; 

• Resource characteristics including proximity to and usage 
of surface water and groundwater resources. 

Because of the visual character of tarry wastes and spent 
oxide wastes (see Section 2.2), these gas plant wastes were in 
principle relatively easy to identify at surface and in the near 
aurface. These waatea also poae the most significant potential health 
and environmental impact. Cinders, ash, coal fines and clinkers were 
also readily identified but these materials pose little health or 
environmental hazard and were only used to confirm the location of the 
gasification plant. 



26 



Odours ere noticeable and characteristic at former 
manufactured gas plants as a result of the presence of lower molecular 
wei^t volatile organics (i.e., naphthalene, benzene, toluene, xylenes) 
in gas plant wastes. Organic vapour concentrations of 1 /ig*L~^ 
(ppb) are detectable by sense of smell. 

Visusl evidence of water pollution by oily and tarry gas 
plant wastes was also evaluated. Because of the immiscible and 
denser-than-water properties of tars and sludges, natural and manmade 
catch basins, surface drainage ditches, storm water outfalls and 
natural seepage faces on soil and rock slopes were examined. 
Additional and important locations where these wastes may accumulate in 
developed areas are building sumps, tile drains and in storm water 
sewers and sumps. 

Site inspections were performed during February 1967. At 
this time of the year, the inspection of ground conditions and surface 
water conditions was hampered by the presence of snow and ice. The 
detection of odours was also reduced at this time of year as a result 
of lower air temperatures. Because of these considerations, increased 
evidence of buried wastes may be detected at some of the sites if the 
inspections are conducted in warmer weather. To compensate for the 
reduction in data quality attributed to winter weather, increased 
effort was extended in examination of building sumps, catch basins, and 
manholes as well as the collection of soils studies, geotechnical 
investigations and excavation reports aasociated with sewer 
construction or redevelopment on or nesr each site. 



27 



3.3 PHASE 3 - ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL Iff>ACT 

Assessment of potential environmental inpact of each gas 
plant site was performed using a fact sheet that describes site 
conditions and qualitative assessment criteria. 

3.3.1 Fact Sheet Description 

The fact sheet has the purpose of presenting all relevant 
site specific information in a format that is consistent and 
comprehensive. The fact sheet utilized in this study is given in 
Figure 3.1 and is based in part on one suggested by ERT (1964). The 
fact sheet is structured into several categories based in part on 
assessment criteria. The categories include site location, site 
identification, site characteristics, evidence of buried wastes, 
resource characteristics, comments and off-site waste disposal areas. 
The entries to the fact sheet are mostly self explanatory; however, a 
brief description is appropriate. 

Site location is documented in terms of regional and local 
address. Regional location is identified by Ontario Ministry of the 
Environment region and district as well as city or town and National 
Topographic Service map sheet number. Local address is given as a 
municipal address using street and number and/or bounding blocks. 
Local gas plant location is also given on a city street map and shown 
on an hiatorical map. Available hiatorical maps are listed on the fact 
sheet. 

Each site is identified by a name that usually refers to the 
gas plant facilities and by the type of facility and operator(s) and 
periodCs) of operation of the facility. 



28 



Figure 3.1 Fact Sheet for Survey of Coal Gaaification Plant Waste Sites 



1. Site Locationt 



City 
Town 



HOE Region 



HOC District 



Historical Maps Available 



Street Address 



NTS Map Sheet 



2. 



SiU Identirications 

Name 



Type of Facility 



Operator (s) and PeriodCs) of Operation^ 



3. Site CharacterlBticss 

Size (when operated) 
Present Land Use 



Planned Land Use 
Present Occupant (s) 



Present Land Use Adjoining Properties^ 



Underground Utilities_ 



Soil Conditions 



Site Access 



29 



4. Evidence of Buried Waatess 

Operating Period 



Excavation History 



Visible Wastes 



Odour 



Water Pollution 



3. Resource Characteriaticss 

Surface Water 



Proxindty_ 
Use 



GroundMster, Proximity 
Use 



Proximity of Existing Wells 
Site Investigstions 

6. Co— nnta/He— ifcsi 



7. Off-SiU Diaposal Ai«Mas 



30 

Site characteristics include the plant size (areal extent 
when operating) present and planned land use, present occupants or 
owners, and land use of surrounding properties. Description of 
underground utilities, soil conditions and site access are also 
provided in this category. 

The evidence of buried wastes category includes duration of 
operations (longer operating periods are likely to generate more 
wastes), the history of excavation at the site and any reported or 
observed visible or olfactory evidence of wastes. Evidence of water 
pollution is also included in this category. 

The resource characteristics category include identification 
of natural resources, such as surface and grounc^ater resources in the 
area of each site that potentially may be inpacted by waste migration. 
Historical or on-going site investigations that provide additional 
information on each site are also noted in this category. 

A comments and remarks section is also provided to allow 
description of inportant aspects of the site not covered by previous 
categories. 

The last category of the fact sheet describes the disposition 
of gas plant wastes off-site. This disposal includes that undertaken 
during plant operation and later during excavation and redevelopment. 
For moat plant sites, the location and extent of off-site waste 
disposal is not well known. Most off-site waste site locstions are 
only tentatively identified. Because of this uncertainty and the 
likehood that other industrial wastes may have been disposed at such 
sites, off-site disposal areas were not subject to assessment of 
potential environmental impact. 



31 



3.3.2 Criteria for Assessment of Potential Environmental Iirpact 

The criteria for assessment of potential environmental impact 
of manufactured gas plant sites are listed in Table 3.1 and are grouped 
into three important categories: site charactistics, evidence of 
buried wastes and resource characteristic as suggested by ERT (198A). 
The three categories are further divided into a number of factors which 
are used to assess the potential environmental impact of each site. 
The approach to assessment of potential environmental impact of 
unexplored gas plant sites is qualitative in nature reflecting the 
variable, uncertain and conjectural nature of much of the data. 
Therefore, qualitative scores of high, medium, and low are assigned for 
each of the factors. For some sites, data is of greater reliability as 
a result of recent subsurface investigations, but for many of the sites 
reliable information on subsurface conditions is not available, or at 
best is poorly reported. Given these considerations, quantitative 
assessment or ranking of sites with respect to potential environmental 
impact is not warranted. Also not all factors are expected to have 
equal weighting at all sites. 

The rationale and assessment criteria for each factor are 
provided in the following paragraphs. 

3.3.2.1 Site Characteristics 

Size . This factor provides a good indication of the 
potential inpact of a site in that a large site is more likely to be a 
problem than a small site. Large sitea would tend to be associated 
with larger plants that would produce more waste and, therefore, have a 
greater potential for waste products to enter the environment. Large 
sites are considered to bo greater than 1.0 ha (10,000 m^) while 
smell sites are less than 0.5 ha and these values represent the bounds 
for high and low scores. 



32 



Table 3.1 Assessment Criteria for Potentional Environmental Impacts 
of Manufactured Gas Plant Waste Sites in Ontario 



Factors 



Criteria for Assessment 



Level 



Low 



Medium 



High 



Site Characteristics 
Size (when operated) 
Location 

Current Use/Ownership 



Planned Use/Ownership 



Potential for 
Excavation 



<0.5 hectares 

rural or sparsely 
populated 

controlled access, 
industrial or 
commercial use 



continued owner- 
ship and industrial 
or commerical use 

no plans for 
redevelopment 



0.5-1.0 hectares >1.0 hectares 



industrial or 
commerical area 

owned and used 
industrially or 
commercially with 
uncontrolled access 

sale for 
industrial or 
commerical use 

possible 
redevelopment 



residential or 
public use area 

used residentially 
or publicly 



sale or conversion 
to residental or 
public use 

redevelopment 
planned 



Evidence of Buried Wastes 
Operating Period 
Excavation History 

Visible Wastes 

(Tars and Spent Oxide) 

Odour 

Water Pollution 



OO years 

excavation, no 
wastes reported 

none or very 
minor 

none on-site 

no visible 
presence 



30-60 years 
no excavation 

minor pockets 

minor on-site 

oily or 
discoloured 
water on-site 



^60 years 

excavation, waste 
encountered 

extensive 



distinct on-site 

oily or 
discoloured 
drainage off-site 



33 



Table 3.1 Asseasment Criteria for Potentional Environmental Impacta 
of Manufactured Gaa Plant Waate Sitea in Ontario 



Factora 



Criteria for Aaaesament 



Level 



LOM 



Medium 



High 



Reaource Characteriatics 

Surface Water 
Proximity 

Surface Water Uae 

Groundwater Proximity 



Groundwater Use 



>1 km 

industrial 

aite directly on 
low permeability 
aoila or bedrock 



no wella in 
poaaible irrpacted 
areas 



^1 km but not 
adjacent 

recreational 

aite on permeable 
aoila with 
confining layer 
above aquifer 

induatrial or a 
few private 
wells 



adjacent 



drinking water 

direct ground- 
water connection 
to major aquifer 



public water 
supply wella 



34 



Location* Gas plant locations are an inportant consideration 
in the assessment of a site because the location will determine the 
potential for human contact. Sites located in rural areas will have a 
low population density and, therefore, the potential population 
affected by a contaminant release will be small. Similarly, if the 
area is industrial or commercial, more people are likely to be 
affected. The highest ranking is given to a site that is now located 
in a residential or public use area. 

Current Use/Ownership. This factor is used to assess public 
access and the potentially affected populations. If the site ownership 
is presently industrial or commercial, access may be limited and the 
potentially affected population is reduced. Conversely, if the site is 
residential or public, access will be uncontrolled resulting in a 
greater concern and a higher ranking. 

Planned Use/Ownership. This factor considers the potential 
impact on future populations similarly to the current use/ownership 
factor. A high ranking is given to sites that have the potential for 
sale or conversion to residential or public use. Also a site planned 
for resale is assuming all other considerations being equal, likely to 
be of greater concern from the standpoint of legal liability than a 
site that will be kept. 

Potential for Excavation 

This is an important factor in that it directly assesses the 
likelihood that buried wastes may be excavated and exposed and 
dispersed through rupturing of underground tanks. From a health 
atanc^oint, wastes contained in tanks in the ground pose much less 
hazard than wastes exposed during excavation. Consequently, sites 
planned for redevelopment are of greatest concern whereas sites with no 
plans for redevelopment are of least concern. 



35 

3.3.2.2 Evidence of Burled Wastes 

Operating Period . The time period over which the site was 
in operation can be used as an Indicator of the magnitude of the waste 
problem. Sites with a long operating period will have generated more 
wastes and have a longer period of waste migration. 

Excavation History. Excavation history is an inportant 
assessment factor in that it provides documentation as to the existence 
of buried wastes. The difficulty with this factor is that reporting of 
waste occurrence during past excavation is not consistent between 
sites. Sites with excavation and no reported wastes are of less 
concern than sites with no excavation which are in turn of less concern 
than sites where wastes were reported during excavation. The high 
criteria for this category is of additional concern in that excavation 
into sites containing wastes may have resulted in tank rupture and 
dispersal of wastes over a larger area. 

Visible Wastes . This factor provides en assessment based on 
the visual inspection of wastes from site inspections conducted ss part 
of this study and from historical accounts. Sites with large areas of 
visible waste such as tar or spent oxide box waste will present a 
greater hazard than those with no visible waste. Visible waste over a 
larger area will receive a hi^ ranking. 

Odogr. Odours in the ares of a sito provides an indication 
of the presence and extent of wastes. With coal tar odours detectable 
in the ppb range, this method can provide a suitable site assessment 
method. Sites with distinct odours reported in the past or noticeable 
at present likely contain waste and are therefore of greatest concern. 

Water Pollution . Presently visible or past reported surface 
water or groundwater pollution ia an indication of an ongoing 
environmental impact and cause for concern. On-site ponded water that 



36 



is oily or discoloured may be confined to the site property and 
receives a medium ranking. If the surface water or grouni^ater 
pollution is documented to have drained or seeped in the past or is 
suspected to be seeping presently to a surface wster body, then the 
impact is more serious and a hig^ ranking is recorded. 

3.3.2.3 Resource Characteristics 

Surface Water Proximity. The proximity of a site to a 
surface water body represents an important factor in the assessment of 
a site. A short distance to a river or stream results in a short 
travel distance for a contaminant release end therefore is an inportant 
assessment criteria. Sites adjacent to a surface water receptor are of 
greatest concern, whereas sites at distsnces greater than 1 km are of 
least concern. 

Surface Water Use. If the surface water adjacent to a site 
is inpacted by gas plant wastes, it is inportant to consider the use of 
the water within the potentially inpacted area. Industrial use is 
unlikely to be affected by poor water quality but recreational or, more 
significantly, drinking water use represents a serious impact. Surface 
water in the area of the site used for drinking water is therefore of 
greatest concern. 

Groundwater Proximity. The ease with which groundwster may 
be inpacted depends on the permeability of subsurface materials and the 
distance to the water table. Sites located on low permeability 
materials such as clay or shale bedrock are unlikely to have extensive 
areas of groundwater contamination and warrant a low ranking. If the 
aite overlies a major aquifer and ia directly connected, the potential 
exists for widespread migration of contaminants. In this case, sites 
would receive a high ranking. If the site is isolated from an aquifer 
by a confining layer, the aquifer has some measure of protection and 
receives a medium ranking. 



37 

Groundwater Use . Groundwater within the potentially impacted 
area that is used for public water supplies represents the most serious 
impact and therefore is of greatest concern and highest ranking. No 
groundwater use within the potentially inpacted area is of least 
concern. A medium ranking is assigned to this factor if a few 
industrial or private wells situated within the expected impact area. 

3.4 PHASE 4 - DEVELOPMENT OF OPTIONS FOR FURTHER ACTION 

For each site identified from Phase 1 activities, options for 
further action are developed. These options are developed based on 
site access, site conditions, the nature and disposition of wastes, the 
potential environmental inpact associated with the wastes and perceived 
needs for additional information. The options for further action range 
from notifying and cautioning municipalities and land owners of the 
likely existence of buried wastes at each site to implementation of 
site investigations with the intent of developing specific site 
remediation plana. 



38 

4. RESULTS 

4.1 LIST OF MANUFACTURED GAS PLANT SITES 

The study approach described in Section 3 has identified 41 
manufactured gas plant sites ("town gas" plants) in 36 different 
communities in Ontario. The distribution of gas plants in Ontario is 
shown on Map 1. Table 4.1 presents a list of these sites with their 
location and approximate years of operation. The list in Table 4.1 has 
been revised slightly from the preliminary list of sites released by 
MOE on 3anuary 20, 1987. The preliminary list was prepared based on 
historical information only and included several sites that were later 
found to be solely industrial applications. These industrial sites are 
outside the terms of reference for this study but for the sake of 
completeness are addressed in Section 3. 

Site specific information collected on each site listed in 
Table 4.1 is presented in the appendices contained in Volume II of this 
report. The information is arranged in a consistent manner for each 
site with each appendix containing the following: 

• location map; 

• historical gas plant map; 

• fact sheet. 

The location map identifies the location of the gas plant in 
the community on a small scale map. The historical map illustrates the 
configuration of the gas plant in its largest extent and locates the 
plant in relationship to existing streets. Other historical maps 
available for each site are listed on the fact sheets. Detailed 
information regarding property occupants is given on the fact sheets. 
The fact sheets, described in Section 3.3.1, contain the factual 



39 

Table 4.1 List of Manufactured Gas Plant Sites In Ontario 

1840-1970 



COMflJNITY 



ADDRESS 



APPROXIHATE YEARS 
or OPERATION 



Barrie 

Belleville 

Brampton 
Brentford 

Brockville 

Cambridge (Gait) 

Chatham 

Cobourg 

Cornwall 

Deaeronto 

Dundas 



17-31 Kempenfelt Dr. 1878-1939 

between Sampson St. and 
Duckworth St. 

110-118 Church St. 1854-1947 

between St. Paul and 
Dundas St. E. 

Northeast corner of Nelson 1888-1917 

St. and George St. 

East Ave. bounded by 1860-1911 

Alfred, Newport, East and 
Colborne Sts. 

40 St. Paul St. bounded by 1853-1957 

St. Paul and King Sts. and 
Butlers Creek 

140 North Water St. bounded 1887-1911 

by Grand River and opposite 
Simcoe St. 

307 King St. W. bounded by 1873-1929 

Second St., King St. W., 
Third St. and Thames River 

Between Queen end Charles Sts. 1857-1937 
west of McGill St. and east of 
Division St. 

S.W, corner Water St. E and 1882-1929 

Amelia St. 

South aide of Main Street 1886-1920 

between Flrat - Second St. 

43 Cootea Dr. on E. side of 1863-1909 

Thorpe and King St. E. 



40 



COMUNITY 



ADDRESS 



APPROXIMATE YEARS 
or OPERATION 



Guelph 
Hamilton 



Ingersoll 

Kingston 

Kitchener 

Lindsay 

Listowel 

London 

Napanee 

Oshawa 

Ottawa 
Owen Sound 



118-124 Fountain St., N.W. 1871-1957 

corner of Fountain 4 Wyndham Sts. 

1. N. and S. of Mulberry St. 1850-1925 
between Bay North 4 Park 

North St. 

2. Hamilton By-Product Coke 1924-1958 
Ovens, Burlington-Industrial 

Depew St. area 

83 Avonlea St, N. end of Avonlea 1876-1915 
St. at railway tracks 

Bounding blocks. Place D'Armes 1848-1957 
Ontario, Queen, and Barrack Sts. 

Gaukel St. bounded by Joseph and 1882-1958 
Charles Sts. 

66 William St., S.E. corner of 1881-1890 
of William and Wellington Sts. 

46 Elma St. between Livingstone 1891-1915 
Ave. E. and Malt land River 

Area bounded by Thames, Horton, 1853-1939 
Simcoe, Bathurst and Ridout Sts. 

96 Water St., S.W. 1880-1921 

corner of Water and West Sts. 

1. West corner of Centre and 1903 - 
Bond Sts. before 1928 

2. 80 Emma St. at CN Railway 1901-1954 
Line (Old Prospect St.) 

1. S.W. corner of York and 1854-1915 
King Edward Sts. 

2. 175 Lees Ave. 1920-1957 
1141-1145 First Ave. E. 1888-1947 



41 



COHHUNITY 



ADDRESS 



APPROXIMATE YEARS 
or OPERATION 



Peterborough 

Port Hope 

Port Stanley 

St. Catharines 

St. Thomas 
Sarnia 

Sault 5te. Marie 

Simcoe 
Stratford 

Toronto 



Waterloo 



N. side of Simcoe St. 1869-1950 

between Queen St. and Railway 
Line, adjacent to Otonabee River 

70-80 Oohn St., W. side of 1859-1938 

3ohn St. between Park and 
Alexander Sts. 

Carlow Road bounded by 1945-1958 

Herr Rd., Carlow Rd, Lake Rd, 
and George Street 

S. of Gale Crescent, bottom of 1853-1928 

Calvin St., beside Old Welland 

Canal 

Corner of Mondamin and Gas Sts. 1877-1935 

Maxwell St. bounded by Maxwell, 1884-1909 

Water, Front Sts. end Railway 

tracks 

Goulais Ave. bounded by Bonney, 1925-1963 

Baseline, Pittsburgh and Goulais 

Sts. 

S.E. corner of Pond and Water Sts. 1891-1910 

Wellington St., bounded by 1879-1953 

St. Patrick, Nelson, St. David 
and Erie Sts. 

1. Station A, 271 Front Street 1841-1954 
area of Princess, Berkeley, 

Front, Parliament and Trinity 
Sts. 

2. 415 Eastern Ave., N.E. 1909-1954 
corner of Booth St. and 

Eastern Ave. 

3. 28 Bathurst St., N.W. corner of 1909-1954 
Bathurst St.. and Front St. W. 

E. side of Reglna St. and W. side 1889-1957 
of William St., S. of Laurel Creek 



42 



COMMUNITY 



ADDRESS 



APPROXIMATE YEARS 
or OPERATION 



Windsor 
Woodstock 



5. of McDougall Ave. opposite 1871-1930 
the S.W. extension of Brant St. 

Young St. bounded by Young, Peel, 1876-1919 
Burtch Sts. and an open area 



43 



information on each site. Most of the information collected on each 
site has been condensed onto the fact sheet in order to provide as 
coinplete a description of each site as is possible. 

4.2 PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL I^PACTS OF 
MANUFACTURED GAS PLANTS 

An assessment of the potential environmental impacts of each 
site listed in Table 4.1 was coinpleted using the assessment criteria 
described in Section 3.3.2 and Table 3.1. The results of the 
preliminary assessment are given in Table 4.2 using high (H), medium 
(M) and low (L) rankings under each factor. The information necessary 
to cooplete the assessment of each site is found on the fact sheets. 
As was stated in Section 3.3.2, the preliminary assessment is 
qualitative and reflects the variable, uncertain and conjectural nature 
of some of the site specific information. The exercise is most useful 
in identifying categories (site characteristics, evidence of buried 
wates and resource characteristics) or factors for each site that may 
indicate a potential environmental inpact and to provide a broad 
overview of each site. 

In completing the assessment, the factors concerning visible 
wastes, odours or water pollution required clarification as to whether 
the problems were existing or historical occurrences. The distinction 
is important in terms of the environmental iitpact because it indicates 
a present problem or a problem that may have been more significant in 
the past. Historical occurrences, however, sre Just as important as 
present occurrences in terms of potential environmental impacts in that 
they may indicate the presence of on-site or off-site wastes, past or 
future impacted areas or migration pathways. 

The following section provides a site by site description of 
each gas plant and identifies and describes the important assessment 
factors for each site. 



44 






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46 



4.3 DESCRIPTIONS OF MANUFACTURED GAS PLANTS IN ONTARIO 

This section contsins site descriptions, en assessment of the 
potential environmental inpact, and options for further actions for 
each manufactured gas plant in Ontario. The site descriptions should 
be read in conjunction with the detailed site information contained in 
the appendices. 

4.3.1 Barrie 

Site Description 

In Barrie, manufactured gas was produced by the Barrie Gas 
Co. from 1878 until 1928 when it was taken over by the Town of Barrie 
and operated until 1939. The plant was initially a coal carbonization 
plant until 1890 when it was converted to a water gas plant. It was a 
smell site of about 0.3 ha in area located adjacent to Kempenfelt Bay 
on Kenpenfelt Street between Sanpson and Duckworth Streets. 

The gas plant property is presently a vacant lot scheduled 
for condominium development. A major portion of the property was 
excavated in 1985 to a depth of about 4.5 m in preparation for 
construction. The adjacent land use consists of single family homes to 
the north, west and east with a Canadian National railway line and 
Kenpenfelt Bay to the south. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

During excavation of the site in 1985 contaminated soil was 
encountered and removed to a clean fill area (Lot 8, Concession 1, 
Vespra Township) at Highways 11 and 400 and to the Barrie landfill. 
The contaminated material was found within and outside of the bases of 
two gas holding tanks. No free coal tar wastes were encountered during 
excavation. Local citizens reported objectionable odours off-site 



47 



to HOE during the excavation of the site. Soil and water sanples 
collected on-site by HOC indicated the presence of PAH consistent with 
coal tar contamination. 

The excavation conducted in 1985 encountered contaminated 
soil in and around the two gas storage tanks. On the basis of this 
information, it appears that the site does not contain waste on-site 
and the site presents a low environmental hazard. However, it is not 
known if all of the contaminated soil has been removed end if some of 
this soil remains, it may be a source of contaminated water that could 
discharge to Kenpenfelt Bay. The likelihood of contaminated 
groundwater migrating towards the City of Barrie municipal well 
(Bayview #2) approximately 300 m west of the site is considered remote. 

The city of Barrie has agreed not to issue a building permit 
for the site until the owner of the gas plant property has demonstrated 
that no contaminated material remains on the property. 

The clean fill area located at Highways 11 and 400 received 
excavated material and may also result in potential health effects or 
environmental impact. MOE is presently studying the environmental 
itrpacts of this disposal area. The gas plant property owner has been 
requested by MOE to remove the contaminated fill. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Barrie site, the following are considered appropriate 
options for further action: 

• Water quality monitoring for general water quality and PAH 
compounds in the nearest water supply wells (Bayview #2) ; 

• Sediment sanpling from the shore of Kenpenfelt Bay and 
analysis for PAH compounda; 



48 



• Sanpling of soils on-site and visual inspection for gas 
plant wastes; 

• Intallation of monitoring wells and sanpling of shallow 
groundwaters to assess potential contaminant discharges to 
Kenpenfelt Bay. 

The gas plant property owner has hired a consultant and they 
will be instructed by the Ministry of the Environment to consider the 
above options as part of their proposal for work. 

The MOE is presently studying the waste dispoal area located 
at Highway 11 and 400 and options for future action at the disposal 
location will depend on the results of their studies. 



49 



4.3.2 Belleville 

Site Description 

The Belleville gas plant was located at 110-118 Church Street 
bounded by Church, St. Paul (formerly Wharf Street) Pinnacle and Dundee 
Streets. The plant was operated by the Belleville Gas Co. from 1834 to 
1930, the Ontario Shore Gas Co. from 1930 to 1935 and the Belleville 
Public Utilities Commission from 1937 to 1947 for a total operating 
period of 93 years. The gas plant property was about 0.7 ha in area 
including land fronting on both Church Street and Pinnacle Street. 

Presently, the eastern portion of the gas plant property 
adjacent to Church Street is a vacant lot. The gas facilities were 
located on this property. The development plans for this lot are 
unknown but a "for-sale" sign is posted. The western portion of the 
property adjacent to Pinnacle Street is occupied by the Hawkins Cheezie 
Factory. Adjacent property consists of commercial land use (Thompson 
Farm Supplies for exanple) to the north and east and residential land 
use (single family homes) to the south and west. 

Potential Environmental Inpact 

The Belleville gas plant has resulted in several instances of 
off -site migration of waste as documented in files of MOE's Belleville 
District Office. In June 1981, an excavation for a sanitary sewer 
along Pinnacle Street west of the gas plant site encountered tar. The 
excavation was approximately 4.5 m below surface into limestone bedrock 
and a smell amount of coal tar was found seeping into the excavation 
from several localized areaa in the bedrock. Contaminated groundwater 
from the excavation was initially pumped into a storm sewer which 
discharged into a public boat launch area on the Moira River near 
St. Paul Street creating an oil slick on the river. Subsequently, the 
oily water from the excavation was diverted to a sanitary sewer and the 
local sewage treatment plant. 



50 



In May 1983, atorm aewer conatruction at the interaection of 
Front Street and St. Paul again encountered traces of coal tar. The 
excavation was initially kept dry by punping into the atorm drainage 
and when coal tar aeepage was encountered the seepage was directed to a 
sanitary sewer. 

These occurrences of waste indicate off-site migration of 
coal tar. The evidence of tar (stained rock) in an excavation 
immediately adjacent to the river indicatea a high probability of past 
direct discharge of coal tar to the Moira River. The Moira River also 
discharges to the Bay of Quinte. 

In terms of environmentel inpscts, groundwater contamination 
ia likely occurring and it is also likely that the Moira River is 
receiving some of this contsminated groundwater. Some of this 
contaminated groundwater coming off the gas plant property may be 
intercepted by the sewer trenches, thus reducing in the long term 
contaminated grounc^ater discharge to the River. 

Additional inpacts may occur if the gas plant property is 
developed without proper precautions taken to protect worker safety. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Belleville site, the following sre considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• Notify and caution property ownera and municipality that 
buried gas plsnt wastes may be found on-site: 



51 



A detailed study of the site and surrounding area should 
be undertaken and should include the following: 

- Sediment sanpling of the shore of the Moira River in the 
area of the gas plant and analysis for PAH contaminants; 

- Soil gas sanpling or soil and bedrock sanpling in the 
area between the gas plant and the river to determine 
the extent of off-site contamination and its proximity 
to the river; 

- Installation of monitoring wells and sampling of shallow 
groundwaters in the area between the gas plant and the 
river to assess potential contaminant discharges to the 
river. 

- If extensive off -site contamination is discovered or if 
the gas plant property is to be developed on-site 
studies such as geophysical surveys, soil gas sampling, 
soil surveys and groundwater monitoring are required to 
define sources of buried wastes. 



52 



4.>.3 Brarrpton 

Site Description 

The Brampton gas works was a small manufactured gas plant 
that operated for less than thirty years at the northeast corner of 
Nelson and George Streets in the old town of Brampton. The plant was 
likely a coal carbonization facility which was initially operated by 
Branpton Gas Co. (1888-1902) and later (1903-1917?) by the Equitable 
Gas Co. Ltd. The layout of the plant is shown on a 1917 fire insurance 
plan from the Regional Collection of the University of Western 
Ontario. 

The site is now occupied by a two-storey commercial office 
building with basement that was constructed in 1957. Adjoining 
property uses include a City of Brampton parking lot located north of 
the site; a series of commercial land uses including federal government 
buildings; Brampton Mid Centre Mall; auto sales and apartments. No 
groundwater use is reported in this area and the closest surface water 
bodies are Etobicoke Creek and Flectcher's Creek located approximately 
300 m east and west, respectively, of the site. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

No significant environmental inpact or adverse health effect 
is perceived for this site. The small plant size (only a 36 m^ 
capacity gas holding tank is evident on the 1917 fire insurance plan) 
and short operating period suggests that a relatively small volume of 
waste products were likely produced. It is reported by the property 
owner that during the excavation for construction of the building 
(1957) no tars or oily sludges were encountered in the subsurface. 
Recent inspections of some of the basements in this building showed no 
visible or olfactory evidence of gas plant wastes. Also during 1986, 
the City of Brampton excavated about 1.5 m of fill from the former 



53 



coal yards located Immediately north of the plant and did not observe 
any oily wastes or odours. Inspections of the basements in the 
buildings of the surrounding properties also showed no evidence of 
seepage or odours. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Brairpton site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• No future actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owner and the municipality that 
buried gas plant waste may be found on-site. 



54 

4.3.4 Brantford 

Site Description 

The Brantford gas works began operation in the late 18508 or 
early 18608 and continued until about 1911. The plant was located on 
the north and south sides of East Avenue between Alfred and Newport 
Streets and was operated by the Brantford Gas Co. Its operation may 
have been intermittent. The plant may also have been converted to 
natural gas distribution after 1911 and operated by the Dominion Gas 
Co. 

Presently the gas plant property is occupied by the Union Gas 
Co. who operate a warehouse/stock room and parking lot on the property 
south of East Avenue and an office and parking lot on the property 
north of East Avenue. Access to the warehouse property is controlled 
by a fence and gate. Adjacent property consists of commercial and 
residential properties to the north, commercial to the west, 
residential to the east and parkland to the south. On the western 
border of the property, south of East Avenue, is a small gabion-lined 
creek that receives its water from a storm sewer. The parkland to the 
south was previously a canal basin that was reclaimed in the early 
1950's. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The Brantford gas plant has had no reported problems 
resulting from buried wastes. The site reconnaissance visit identified 
petroleum-like odours coming off the creek and a small oil slick 
emanating from the storm sewer. It is not known whether or not these 
pollutant problems are caused by the former gas plant, result from road 
runoff or an upstream discharge. Similar odours were found coining from 
a drainage pipe that discharges into the east side of the creek Just 
south of East Avenue. The pipe appears to act as a storm drain for the 
Union Gas parking lot and, at the time of the site visit, was 
discharging at about 20 Lpm. 



55 



Environmental Inpacts from this site are likely to be small 
or negligible primarily because the property has not been disturbed by 
excavation and access to the site is controlled. The most likely 
environmental inpact mi^t be groundwater discharge of contaminated 
material to the creek. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Brentford site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• Notify present property owners and municipality that 
buried gas plant wastes may be found on-eite; 

• Sediment and water sampling of the creek is required in 
order to assess the petroleum odour and oil slick in the 
creek and its general water quality. 



56 



4.3.5 Brockvllle 

Site Description 

The Brockville Gas Company, was located on the west side of 
St. Paul Street between King Street West and Butler Creek and was in 
operation for about 104 years from 1853 to 1957. After 1921, the gaa 
plant was operated by the Brockville Public Utilities Commission. The 
gas plant was of medium size, occupying about 0.5 ha and was probably a 
coal carbonization plant initially, but was likely converted to water 
gas in the early 1900 's. 

The former gas plant property is now occupied by a City of 
Brockville parking lot for the adjacent Arts Centre Theatre and IGA 
supermarket. Commercial buildings are located to the north, west and 
east with residential areas located to the east and south. Butler 
Creek which flows to the St. Lawrence River lies immediately to the 
south of the former site. The parking lot is paved and effectively 
covers and drains the site. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The Brockville gas works has had no reported environmental 
problems and the site inspection, although hindered by winter 
conditions, did not detect odours or visible contamination. Shallow 
excavation into the site in 1985 for the city parking lot did not 
reportedly encounter waste materials. A 1200 mm diameter sanitary 
trunk sewer also extends through the site with no reported problems. 

Although there are no apparent environmental problems 
associated with the site, the years of plant operation are long, 
(104 years) increasing the likelihood of having produced a large amount 
of waste. The site has been excavated (sewer construction) which may 



57 



have disturbed any existing waste containment structures. There is 
also no information to indicate that waste facilities were removed from 
the property. The adjacent creek is likely to be the receptor for any 
contaminant releases to the environment. At present, storm catch 
basins for the parking lot drain into the creek from the creek bank. 
In addition, the creek is at an elevation approximately 3 m below the 
parking lot surface creating a significant gradient for coal tar 
migration. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Brockville site, the following are considered to be 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• Notify present property owners and munipality that buried 
gas plant wastes may be found on-site; 

• Sediment sanpling of Butler creek adjacent to the former 
gaa plant and analysis for PAH contaminants. 



58 



4.3.6 Cambridge (Gait) 

Site Description 

The Gait gas plant was located at 140 North Water Street 
bounded by Lavins and Simcoe Streets and the Grand River in what is now 
part of the City of Cambridge. The plant was operated by the Gait Gas 
Li^t Co. from about 1887 to about 1911. In the 1920 's the plant was 
probably demolished and an extension to the adjacent textile mill was 
built on the property. 

Today, the property is vacant with construction of 
condominiums planned for the property in the spring of 1987. The 
foundations and some of the walls from the former textile mill still 
renein on-site. Adjacent land use consists of commercial properties to 
the north, east and south of the property. The Grand River is located 
to the west and this area is recreational parkland. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The most significant problem associated with the former Gait 
gas works is that the site is to be excavated for the construction of 
condominiums in the spring of 1987. While there has been no previously 
reported indications of gas plant wastes in the area, it is possible 
that waste may have remained on-site. If wastes were encountered 
during excavation of the site, the most likely health effects or 
environmental impacts would result from dermal contact with or vapour 
inhalation of waste materials and the possibility of waste migration to 
the Grand River. 

The gas plant was likely demolished in the 1920' s and it is 
possible that waste facilities (holding tanks, tar wells) were removed 
at this time. Foundations from the textile mill (demolished in 1985) 
remain on-site and extend about 3 m below surface indicating a deep 



59 



excavation for the mill construction. The depth of soil on-site is 

reported to be thin (less than 1.0 m) and it is conceivable that the 

foundations were set on bedrock. If this was the case, very little 
waste material may remain on-site. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Cambridge (Gait) site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 



• 



Notify present property owners and munipality that buried 
gas plant wastes may be found on-site; 

Soil sampling of the area in conjunction with geotechnical 
investigations for construction should be completed prior 
to excavation to determine whether or not waste material 
is found on-site. 



60 



4.3.7 Chatham 

Site Description 

The Chatham gas plant, located at 307 King Street West and 
bounded by Second and Third Streets and the Thames River, was in 
operation from 1873 to about 1929. The gas plant probably produced 
retort gas for most of its history and was operated by the Chatham Gas 
Company Ltd. 

The gas plant property is now occupied by the Chatham Civic 
Centre which contains the administration and various departments of the 
City of Chatham. The Civic Centre was constructed in 1975 and has 
below ground parking. Adjacent property consists of the Thames River 
to the north, the YMCA to the west, single family homes and a city 
parking lot to the south and residences and commerical buildings to the 
east. The bank of the Thames River has a steel retaining wall along 
its bank and the area is landscaped as a recreational area. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

During construction of the Civic Centre in 1975, former gas 
plant structures were encountered. These structures included the 
foundation of a gas holding tank (18 m diameter), a tar tank, a tar 
well (4.3 m diameter), and building foundations. The gas holding tank 
contained rubble and oily water and the well contained an oily, 
asphaltic material. These structures were reported to be removed by 
the building contractor while excavating for foundation footings. The 
disposal of the excavated material was the responsibility of the 
building contractor and no city record exists of the disposal location. 
The volume of excavated material or its chemical composition is also 
not known nor is it apparent whether or not all contaminated material 
was removed. 



61 



In terms of environmental iiipact, the most likely occurrence 
Is via contaminated seepage Into the Civic Center basement or seepage 
to the Thames River. The Civic Centre below ground parking lot Is 
underdralned by catch basins which drain to the building sunps. The 
foundation drains also drain to the building sump which in turn 
discharges via a storm sewer to the Thames River through the steel 
retaining wall. During the site reconnaissance visit, the Civic 
Centre's sump and storm drains were Inspected and no evidence of 
contaminated seepage or odours were detected. There were also no 
reported occurrences of odours in the basement. 

Direct seepage of contaminated material to the Thames River 
is likely to be retarded by the steel retaining wall. The wall extends 
along the river for the length of the former gas plant property and is 
tied Into clayey material at its base. The retaining wall, depending 
on its construction, may act as a containment structure to prevent 
seepage of contaminated material to the river. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Chatham site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• Notify present property owners and munlpallty that buried 
gas plant wastes may be found on-site; 

• Water satipllng of the Civic Centre building storm drain 
which discharges to the Thames River and analysis of 
samples for PAH compounds; 

• Sediment sampling of the Thames River in the area of the 
retaining wall (especially the ends of the wall) and the 
storm drain outfall. 



62 



4.3.8 Cobourg 

Site Description 

The Cobourg gas works was a small coal gasification plant 
that operated for about 80 years between 1857 and 1937 by various 
utilities including Cobourg Gas Works, Cobourg Gas, Light and Water 
Co. , Cobourg Utilities Corporation and the Hydro Electric Power 
Commission of Ontario. The site is situated between Queen and Charles 
Streets west of McGill Street. The former gas works property is now 
occupied by the Cobourg Post Office building and parking lot and a 
parking lot associated with the Northumberland Professional Building. 
The property of most of the former gas works facilities including a 
360 m^ gas holder and the gas purifying facilities are now occupied 
by the fenced-in parking lot of Canada Post Corporation. The site is 
located within a residential public use area with parkland to the east, 
Cobourg Centennial Pool and residences to the south and a parking lot, 
garage and dry cleaners to the north. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

Soil borings undertaken for sewer construction and 
construction of the Cobourg Centennial Pool both of which are located 
south of the site and Charles Street showed no evidence of tars or 
spent oxide waste, although some cinders and ash were observed in the 
near surface. Gas plant wastes were also not reported during 
construction of the Post Office building in 1932 and later during 
expansion in 1970. Basement sumps of both the Post Office and the 
Professional Building were observed to be clean of gas plant wastes. 

Although the site is located within a residential public use 
area, the lack of evidence of buried wastes indicates no immediate 
health hazard and minimal potential environmental impact. 



63 



Continued use of the majority of the site as a parking lot 
and the low potential for redevelopment and excavation contributes to 
the low assessment of potential environmental impact. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Cobourg site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• No further actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owners and municipalities that 
buried gas plant wastes may be found on-site. 



64 



4.3.9 Cornwall 

Site Description 

The Cornwall Gas Works was a small manufactured gas plant 
located on the north side of Water Street between Amelia and Adolphus 
Streets. The plant was operated by the Cornwall Gas and Light Co. from 
1882 to 1895 and then by the Stormont Electric Light and Power Co. 
from 1895 to 1929 for a total operating period of 47 years. The gas 
producing process was most likely a water gas procecijre, at least in 
its later stages. 

At present, the former gas plant property is occupied by 
residential row houses and a semi-detached home. Adjacent properties 
consist of the Cornwall Curling Club to the north, a federal government 
building to the west, an arena and a parking lot to the east and a 
vacant property to the south. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

This site has had no reported environmental problems even 
though there has been considerable construction and excavation in the 
area. One of the homes has a basement which is dry with no reported 
odours. A 760 mm diameter sanitary trunk sewer runs through the middle 
of the site and it was apparently installed without problems. In 
recent years, there has been considerable construction including road 
and sewer excavation along Water Street in the area of the former gas 
plant. City workers have not reported any evidence of odours or waste 
material during this work. 

Based on the reported information, the former gas plant site 
is unlikely to create an environmental iirpact. 



65 



Options for Further Action 

For the Cornwall site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• No further actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owners and municipalities that 
buried gas plant wastes may be found on-site. 



66 

4.3.10 Deseronto 

Site Description 

The Deseronto gas works, located south of Main Street between 
First and Second Streets, were in operation from about 1886 to about 
1920. The gas plant was associated with a chemical manufacturing 
operation that produced wood alcohol and by-products. The chemical 
works alrfo included a number of charcoal burners that were immediately 
west of the gas works. Early maps (1898) of the area indicate a tar 
distillation room and a retort room that were part of the chemical 
works but the exact use of these facilities is unknown. It is likely 
that a tar-based wood preservative (e.g., creosote) may have been 
produced. 

The chemical plant was located on the shore of the Bay of 
Quinte with the gas works immediately to the north. Today, the 
property is occupied by Hawley Bros. Ltd. which operate a furniture 
manufacturing business. A single family home in addition to two 
factory buildings are found on-site. The outline of the gas holding 
tank is still visible on the property. The property has been severed 
in order to build another house on the property. 

Potential Environmental Inpact 

Potential environmental inpacts from the former gas plant are 
most likely to occur due to the proposed building of an additional home 
on the property. Excavation on the property could intersect waste 
materials remaining on-site. The potential for buried wastes on-site 
is evidenced by several historical occurrences. During construction of 
the Hawley family home in 1951, it was necessary to let the foundation 
excavation stand open for about one month to vent gases from the soil. 



67 



The excavation was about 1.2 to 1.5 m below the surface and about 0.6 
to 1.0 tn into bedrock. The location of the house is about the same 
location as the former gas plant buildings. During the site visits, 
the house basement was inspected and was found to be free of odours 
with a sump that contained clean, odourless water. 

Another possible indication of waste on-site is the presence 
of the gas holding tank. Apparently in 1949, the foundation of the 
tank was filled in. It is possible that coal tar waste may remain at 
the base of the foundation. 

The most likely cause of health effects or environmental 
impacts caused by excavation into waste material is from dermal contact 
and vapour inhalation or from the release and contaminant migration of 
either coal tar or contaminated groundwater to the Bay of Quinte. It 
should be noted, however, that because the gas plant was closed in the 
1920's and the chemical plant closed in the late 1800s, most of the 
significant environmental impacts may have occurred in the past. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Deseronto site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• Notify property owners and municipality that buried gas 
plant wastes may be found on-aite; 

• Soil sampling should be completed in the area of the 
proposed building prior to construction and the samples 
inspected for indications of gas plant wastes. If wastes 
are suspected samples should be subjected to analysis for 
PAH compounds. 



^^f7T 



68 



4.3.11 Dundas 

Site Description 

The Dundas Gas Light Co. operated a small town gas facility 
on the east side of Thorpe Street between King St. East and Cootes 
Drive from 1863 to about 1909. The plant was then turned over to 
Dominion Gas Co. who brou^t gas in from Brentford. In 1922-23, the 
ownership of the property transferred to the Wentworth Gas Co. After 
1909, it is unlikely that the gas plant produced manufactured gas but 
was probably a distribution facility possibly first for gas prodjced in 
Brentford then for a natural gas source. 

Today, one of the original gas plant buildings with its 
chimney is still standing on-site and is occupied by a small 
manufacturing business. Other land use in the area consists of 
commercial and residential use to the north, west and east and 
commercial use to the south. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The only evidence of waste material identified at the Dundas 
site results from an excavation for a strip plaza in 1986 on adjacent 
property to the east. At this time, a small brick enclosure 
1.8 X 1.8 X 1.8 m full of cinders and ash was encountered. There was 
no reported evidence of tarry material or odours. A 15 cm steel pipe 
leading to the gas works was also encountered in the excavation. 
Excavated material was taken to D. Hammond's property on Sulphur 
Springs Road. This situation will be investigated by the Ministry of 
the Environment. 



69 



An inspection of the original gas plant building did not 
detect odours or waste on-site and the building occupants did not 
report any problene that may have resulted from the gas plant. The 
location of the gas holding tank is now a small paved parking lot with 
installed storm drains* Odours were not detected in these drains. 

Based on the information collected and the site visit, this 
site is unlikely to cause a significant environmental impact. Because 
the plant was in operation only for a short period and prior to 1909 
environmental impacts if they occurred would have been more significant 
in the past than today. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Dundas site, the following are considered appropriate 
options for further actions: 

• No further actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owners and municipalities that 
buried gas plant wastes may be found on-site. 



70 



4.3.12 Guelph 

Site Description 

The Guelph gas works was located on Fountain Street (formerly 
Waterloo Street East) between Huskisson, Surrey and Gordon Streets. 
The Guelph Gas Company operated the facilities from 1871 to 1903 at 
which time it was taken over by the Guelph Light and Heat Commission 
and operated until about 1957. Late in its history , the gas plant was 
owned and operated by the Union Gas Company. 

The manufactured gas process was most likely a water gas 
operation as early as 1897. The Guelph gas works was a large facility 
which at its peak included three gas holding tanks and covered an area 
of about 1 ha. 

Today, the majority of the site is owned by the City of 
Guelph which operates a parking lot on'-site. A southwestern portion of 
the property, owned by the Union Gas Company is used as a service yard 
and office. The Union Gas property is fenced with controlled access 
while the City parking lot is uncontrolled and open to the public. 
Surrounding land use includes institutional (police station, government 
building, court house) use to the north and east, and residential and 
commercial use to the west and south. 

Potential Environmental Inpact 

The Guelph gas works was a large facility in operation for a 
long period of time (86 years). Consequently, the potential for large 
amounts of waste is hi^. In addition, there was an on-site occurrence 
of waste material in the soils. During the installation of fence posts 
around the site, sand contaminated with tar was discovered within 1 m 
of ground surface. From this information, it is apparent that soil 
contaminated with tarry material is at the site boundaries and may also 



71 



be found off-site. The site topography is sloped towards the south and 
off-site migration of waste, if present, is most likely to occur at the 
southern boundary. Another inportant consideration is the fact that 
the site is a parking lot in the downtown area and is likely to be 
developed in the future. The site is presently paved and storm water 
catch basins will reduce to some extent the infiltration of 
precipitation to the waste materials. 

Present environmental impacts from this site are not readily 
apparent except for possible off-site migration. If off-site migration 
is occurring then environmental inpact may result in tar or 
contaminated seepage to the basements of residences to the south. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Guelph site, the following are considered appropriate 
options for further actions: 

• Notifying property owners and municipality that buried gas 
plant waates may be found on-eite; 

• Soil sanpling and visual inspection of sanples at the 
boundaries of the property to confirm the presence of 
on-site waste material; 

• If waste material is found on>«ite at the boundaries then 
soil sanpling is required off-site in a down-gradient 
direction. 



72 

4.3.13 Handlton Industrial - Depew Street 

Site Description 

The Hamilton By-Product Coke Ovens were operated by the 
United Gas and Fuel Co. of Hamilton Ltd. for about 34 years from 1924 
to 1938. The plant manufactured gas for distribution to the City of 
Hamilton. The plant was a very large facility (7-8 hectare) located 
mostly northeast of Industrial Drive and Depew Street adjacent to 
Hamilton harbour (Gages Inlet). A very large 141,500 m' capacity) 
gas holding tank was constructed in 1921 on what is now the northeast 
corner of Depew Street and Industrial Drive. 

In 1942, the Department of Munitions and Supply for the 
Dominion of Canada expropriated Proctor and Gamble Inc. property 
situated southeast of Depew Street and Industrial Drive for the 
construction of additional gas manufacturing plants to service the 
Hamilton industries engaged in production of war materials. Fifty-four 
coke ovens were operational in this location between 1942 and 1947. In 
1947, the coke ovens were dismantled and the property excavated to a 
level of 0.40 m below ground and returned to Proctor and Gamble Inc. 
In the late 1930's, early 1960's Proctor and Gamble constructed a 
warehouse on this site. 

About 1958, the production of manufactured gas from the 
Hamilton By-Product Coke Ovens for city use was discontinued and the 
facility was acquired by the Steel Company of Canada Ltd. Stelco now 
operate a storage area on this site as part of the Hilton Steel Works. 
Both the Proctor and Gamble Inc. and Stelco properties have controlled 
access. The former Hamilton By-Product Coke Ovens site is now located 
within a heavy industrial area, adjacent to Hamilton harbour. Hamilton 
harbour has a history of contamination problems. 



73 



Potential Environnental Inpact 

Evidence of possible contamination was observed in the 
Ottawa Street slip adjacent to the original aite of the Hamilton 
By-Product Coke Ovens. In particular, oily and discoloured soil and 
water were observed on the banks of and in the slip. Distinct 
hydrocarbon odours were also noticed in the area of this site. 
However, it is not clear that the observed contaminants are linked to 
the former manufactured gas plant. 

The potential environmental inpact of this site is mitigated 
by the industrial land use, continued ownership, low potential for 
excavation and limited water use in the area. 

Options for Further Action 

The Hamilton By-Product Coke Oven site must be considered as 
a special case in the determination of options for further actions. 
This site is a heavy industrial area and may have environmental 
concerns in addition to those thst may be caused by the former gas 
plant. With past contamination in Hamilton harbour from sources other 
than the former gas plant it is not feasible nor practical to suggest 
further action to investigste solely the former gas plant. 



74 

4.3.14 Hamilton - Mulberry Street 

Site Description 

The Hamilton - Mulberry Street gas works was a large retort 
coal gasification plant that operated from about the 1850s to the mid 
1920s. The exact starting and closing dates of plant operation are 
uncertain, but it is likely that the plant did not operate 
simultaneously with the Hamilton By-Product Coke Ovens which were 
constructed in the early 1920s. Both of these facilities were operated 
by the United Gas and Fuel Co. of Hamilton. The Mulberry Street plant 
was operated earlier under the name of the Hamilton Gas Light Co. 

The plant was mostly located on the south side of Mulberry 
Street between Bay Street North and Park Street North. A large 
7,075 m^ capacity gas holding tank was located on the north side of 
Mulberry Street across from the main plant site. 

The former gas works property is now located in a mixed 
residential-commercial, light industrial use area. The main plant site 
is now occupied by a Bell Canada office, garage and storage area, and 
scrapyard of Canadian Iron and Metal Co. The site of the former gas 
holding tank situated north of Mulberry Street is now a building and 
parking lot of the Hamilton-Wentworth Separate School Board. Access to 
all of these properties is controlled by fences and gates. Burlington 
Bay is the closest surface water body and is located about 600 m north 
of the site. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

Although the Hamilton-Mulberry Street gas works was a large 
site that operated for a long period of time, and is now located in a 
reaidential-commercial area, current site land use, lack of evidence of 
buried wastes and, controlled site access combine to Indicate a low 



75 



ranking with respect to potential environmental impact. On-site 
inspections revealed no visible or olfactory evidence of wastes both at 
surface and in basement sumps. The basements and sumps of the separate 
school board building and the Bell Canada building were inspected and 
observed to be free of gas plant wastes. The lack of groundwater use 
and the distance (600 m) to the nearest surface water body (Burlington 
Bay) further contribute to an assessment of low potential environmental 
inpact. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Hamilton-Mulberry site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• No further actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owners and municipalities that 
buried gas plant wastes may be found on-site. 



76 



4.3.15 Inqersoll 

Site Description 

The Ingersoll gas works was a small facility located on the 
northeast end of Avonlea Street (formerly Gas Street) at the Canadian 
Pacific Railway. The gas plant was operated by the Ingersoll Gas Light 
Company from 1876 to 1913. By 1932, the property belonged to the 
Dominion Natural Gas Company and was likely used for storage or as a 
distribution system for natural gas. 

Presently, the former gas plant site is occupied by a 
commerical plumbing operation. Most of the former gas plant property 
is contained within a fenced compound. A small building, on-site, may 
be an original gas plant structure otherwise there is no other evidence 
of the former gas plant. Adjacent land use consists of railway land to 
the north, residential land use to the west and commerical use to the 
south and east. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The Ingersoll gas plant has had one reported on-site odour 
problem. A gas odour was reported in the remaining gas building but 
was removed after a pipe in the floor was plugged. No other odours or 
wastes have been identified on-site. 

In terms of potential environmental inpacts the most 
significant receptors are municipal water supply wells. The nearest 
well is about 800 m away on Merritt Street between Ann and Francis 
Streets; however, the well is about 120 m deep with a 30 m casing 
installed into the top of the limestone bedrock. Based on these 
construction details, the possibility of this well becoming 
contaminated from groundnater emanating from the gas plant site is 
considered remote. Recent sanpling of water from this well by the MOE 
indicates no contamination. 



ia.f^ 



77 



The nearest surface water body is the Thames River located 
about 100 m to the northwest. Although there has been no indication of 
off-eite migration, the river is the most likely receptor should 
contaminated water discharge at surface. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Ingersoll site, the following sre considered 
appropriate options for further ectionst 

• Notifying property owners and municipality that buried gas 
plsnt wastes may be found on-site; 

• Continued water quality monitoring for general water 
quality and PAH contaminants in the nearest wster supply 
well (Merritt Street well). 



78 



4.3.16 Kingston 

Site Description 

The Kingston gas works operated for over 100 years from 1848 
to 1937 on a 1.6 hectare site located north and south of Barrack Street 
between King Street East and Ontario Street, end Queen Street and Place 
D' Arties Street. The main gas works was established south of Barrack 
Street, auxiliary gasholders were situated north of Barrack Street. 
The gas works was a retort coal gasification facility, a carburetted 
water gas facility and finally a propane air gas plant. The Kingston 
Public Utilities Commission (PUC) assumed operation of the gas works in 
1913. 

The main gas works site is now occupied by the PUC bus 
garage, parking lot, and office; the Kingston police underground 
parking garage, a Kingston Hydro substation, and retail stores. The 
auxiliary gas holding area is now occupied by the PUC bus repair 
station and parking lot. Both sites are located in 
uncontrolled-access, public use areas. The former gas works site is 
located about 150 m southwest of the mouth of the Great Cataraqui 
River. The river has recreational use. 

Potential Environmental Iirpact 

Although the Kingston site was a large plant that operated 
for a long period of time, there is only limited evidence of buried 
wastes and potential environmental impact. No wastes were reportedly 
left on-site during gas works decommissioning. Also, no wastes were 
reported during the 1971 construction of the Kingston Police 
underground parking garage located on the former main gas plant site. 
Inspections of the parking garage, basement and sump of the Police 
Station and the basement and sump of the Building Inspection offices 
showed no evidence of gas plant wastes. Similarly no odours were 



ISMTl 



79 



detected on-site. The only reported occurrence of possible gas plant 
wastes was associated with May, 1986 excavation for upgrading of a 
sewer on King Street, north of Place D'Aimes Street and the auxiliary 
gas holding tanks. Approximately 60 m^ of tar contaminated rock and 
soil was removed from the excavation. Final disposition of the wastes 
are not known. The lack of grounc^ater use and the use of and distance 
to surface waters also mitigate against significant potential 
environmental impact. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Kingston site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• Notifying property owners and municipality that buried gas 
plant wastes may be found on-site; 

• Soil sampling in the area of contaminated soil on King 
Street to determine its composition and extent; 

• If the contaminated soil is determined to be coal tar, 
more detailed soil sampling will be required in the area 
between the gas plant and the zone of contamination to 
assess migration potential of tar. 



80 



4.3.17 Kitchener 

Site Description 

The Kitchener gas plant was located on Gaukel Street between 
Charles and Joseph Street. The majority of the gas facilities were 
located on the west side of Gaukel Street but the main gas holding tank 
was located on the east side of the Street. The plant was initially 
operated by the Berlin Gas Company starting in 1882. In 1903, the gas 
company was purchased by the Berlin Public Utilities Commission and 
operated by the Commission until 1958. In about 1920, the City of 
Berlin was renamed Kitchener. Until about 1930, the gas process was 
retort gas at which time water gas production was added to the process. 
Based on gas plant plans from 1932, on-site tar storage areas included 
a tar tank, tar pit, tar dehydrator and a coal tar tank in addition to 
other residual tar locations, such as two gas holding tanks. 

Today, the former gas plant site is occupied by the Post 
Office and a parking lot on the west side of Gaukel Street and the Gray 
Coach Bus Depot and parking lot on the east side. The Post Office is 
found on the northeast corner of the block and is surrounded by a paved 
parking lot, the western half of which is fenced with access limited to 
workers in the Post Office building. On the east side of Gaukel, the 
bus depot is located in the centre of the block and the former gas 
holding tank is located on property that is presently a gravel parking 
lot. The east side of Gaukel Street between Joseph and Charles Street 
is scheduled for redevelopment into a bus transportation mall. 

Adjacent land use consists of commercial land use to the 
north, west and east and residential and commercial land use to the 
south. The nearest surface water body to the site is Victoria Park 
Lake which is located approximately 1000 m to the south. 



81 



Potential Environmental Inpact 

The Kitchener gas plant has had several historical and 
present occurrences of coal wastes being found on-site. The first 
documented instance of coal tar waste on-site was prior to the 
demolition of the gas plant in 1958. A newspaper article (Kitchener- 
Waterloo Record, 3une 7, 1938) describes the area as a former swamp 
that has been built up with "accumulated fill and rubbish" with "the 
fill in some places eight feet deep" and "it (the fill) is saturated 
with gas and oil and forgotten mains". The next recorded problem 
(Kitchener-Waterloo Record, November 13, 1963) was after the demolition 
of the facilities in the fall of 1963. During the paving of the 
parking lot for the Post Office two tar tanks and one gas holding tank 
were uncovered. In the process of covering one of the tanks, "sticky 
tar" was spread "from one end of the lot to the other". At one point, 
over 40 m^ litres of tar and water were removed from the gas holding 
tank. After attempts to drain the tar tanks failed, more than 200 tons 
of slag from Hamilton were poured into the tar tanks in order to 
stabilize the tarry material (Kitchener-Waterloo Record, December 4, 
1963). The problem of excessive water in the excavation was linked to 
a hydraulic connection with nearby Victoria Lake. It was reported in 
the Kitchener-Waterloo Record (March 5, 1964) that "when water in 
Victoria Park Lake is raised or lowered, water on the site follows the 
same pattern". 

The next coal tar problem occurred in the summer of 1986 when 
tar was found seeping into a Bell Telephone manhole on Joseph Street 
adjacent to the former gas site. Analytical results of tar from the 
manhole indicated concentrations of PAH components in excess of 
10,000 ug/g. Due to the extent of tar seepage the manhole was 
abandoned and permanently sealed with cement. 



82 



In August 1986, a coal tar deposit was found adjacent to the 
CN Railway tracks on the property of Hogg Fuels Ltd. on Lancaster 
Street in Kitchener. According to an MOE report (F. Hicks, Cambridge 
District) an old trolley track running parallel to the railway tracks 
was used to transport tar wastes to this property during the period 
from 1932 to about 1958. The tar wastes were apparently duirped on both 
sides of the tracks. Analytical results of tarry material taken from 
the property confirmed the presences of many PAH compounds. More 
investigative work is required to confirm the origin and extent of 
buried waste on this property. 

More recently (February, March, 1987) an on-site drilling 
program was completed by Public Works Canada (property owners) to 
determine the extent of tar contamination at the former gas plant site. 
Most of the boreholes drilled into the parking lot encountered tar 
and/or contaminated soil. Specific details of the drilling program 
were unavailable at the time of the writing of this report. 

These specific details of on-site and possibly off-site 
contamination indicate that the potential environmental inpacts from 
the gas plant site may be significant. The entire site below the 
parking lot and possibly below the Post Office Building contains coal 
tar wastes that are not contained by the original gas plant structures. 
Environmental inpacts and health effects resulting from the migration 
of coal tar and contaminated groundwater may occur from the following 
scenarios: 

• Possible seepage of waste materials into adjacent 
buildings (i.e., the Post Office) may result in dermal 
contact or vapour inhalation; 

• Development of adjacent property may result in the 
exposure of waste material or cause contaminated seepage 
into excavations; 



I^loTTT 



83 



• Due to the reported hydraulic connection with Victoria 
Park Lake it is possible that contaminated grounc^ater may 
be migrating towards the Lake. 

Further investigations are required in order to quantify the 
environmental significance of each of these scenarios. 

Options for Further Action 

A consultant hired by Public Works Canada is presently 
conducting additional studies on part of the Kitchener site. Pending 
completion and documentation of these studies, the only action required 
is notification of adjacent property owners and municipality that 
buried wastes have been found on-site and may be migrating off-site. 



84 



4.3.18 Lindsay 

Site Description 

The Consumers Cas Company oT Lindsay, founded under the 
Ontario Gas end Water Act, 1881 operated a small coal gasification 
plant to provide street limiting to the town of Lindsay for a short 
nine year period from 1881-1890. In 1890, the Lindsay Electric Light 
Conpany was given the street-lifting contract. The gas works were 
located at 66 Williams Street. The site is now occupied by the Hydro 
Electric Commission of the Town of Lindsay, that maintain offices, a 
garage and parking lot on-site. Some of the original gas works 
buildings are still intact and form part of the Lindsay Hydro building. 
The foraer gas holding tank is evident throu^ a paste up of the 1911 
fire insurance plan and is located below the Lindsay Hydro garage. 
Settlement-induced cracks in the concrete floor of the garage define 
the location of the former gas holding tank. The sree of the gas 
holding tank is separated from the parkland bordering the Scugog River 
by a 5 m high rock retaining wall. 

Potential Environmental Inpsct 

The very short operating period, small size, lack of any 
evidence of buried wastes and continued use of the property by the 
current o*ners contribute to a low assessment of potential 
environmental inpact for this site. The basement of the Lindsay Hydro 
building consists of the original gas plant buildings. This basement 
was observed to be dry with no evidence of groundwater seepage or 
buried wastes. Based on observations of other sites, waste, if 
present, is likely to be associated with the abandoned gas holding 
tank. The foundation of this tank is below the Lindsay Hydro garage. 
Seepage of infiltrating water may leach any waste, if present to the 
Scugog River via the base of the rock retaining wall. 



85 



Options for Further Action 

For the Lindsay site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further atudies: 

• Although the retaining wall was inspected in the winter 
and no seepage was evident, reinapection during spring and 
summer is recommended to confirm the lack of evidence of 
visible waste for this site. 

• Notify property owners and municipality that buried gas 
plant wastes may be found on-site. 



86 

4.3.19 Listowel 

Site Description 

The Listowel gas works was located at 46 Elma Street on the 
south side adjacent to the east bank of the Maitland River. The gas 
plant was operated by the Listowel Gas and Electric Light Cotnpany from 
1891 until 1913 when the operation was discontinued. Coal 
carbonization was used as the gas producing process. The gas works was 
a small operation occupying less than 0.2 hectare. 

The Andrew Malcolm Furniture Ltd. is the present occupant of 
the property and uses the land for lumber storage and warehouses. A 
smell commercial building (Bonsma Pools Ltd. ) is also found on the 
former gas plant property. Adjacent land use consists of industrial 
and commercial use to the north, west, south and east. The Maitland 
River is immediately to the east of the site and flows towards the 
south. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

There have been no reported environmental inpacts resulting 
from waste at this former gas plant site. The site reconnaissance 
visit did not detect any evidence of the former gas plant, waste 
material or detectable odours. The potential for environmental impacts 
at this site is considered to be low based on its short period of 
operation (24 years) and its location in an industrial/commerical area. 
If an inpact were to occur, the two most significant receptors would be 
the Maitland River and municipal water wells. The Maitland River is 
adjacent to the site and is used primarily for recreation. Listowel 
receives its water supply from three wells. The nearest wells are 
about 500 m east and west of the plant site. Recent sanpling of the 
municipal drinking water supplies by the MOE indicates no organic 
contamination. 



87 



Options for Further Action 

For the Listowel site, the folloMing are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• Notifying the property owners and nunicipality that buried 
gas plant wastes may be found on-eite; 

• Continued water sanpling of the two closest municipal 
water supply wells and analysis for general water quality 
and PAH compounds. 



i^rrrni 



88 



4.3.20 London 

Site Description 

The London Gas Works was a large facility (greater than 
2.5 ha) located on Ridout Street between Norton (on the south), Thames 
(on the west) and Bathurst (on the north) Streets. The main gas 
facilities were located on the west side of Ridout Street but a large 
main gas holding tank was located on the east side of Ridout Street at 
Morton. The City Gas Company operated the site from 1833 to about 1939 
using initially a coal carbonization process and then a water gas 
process to produce gas. 

At present the site is a vacant lot with a vacant garage 
building on-site. Piles of earth and rubble, containing bricks, 
concrete, and piping are found in the center of the property. It is 
not known if this material is from the former gas plant but the Ridout 
Street side of the property is about 1 to 2 metres below street level 
indicating possible excavation. The property is presently being used 
as a temporary parking lot for construction workers during the 
construction of the adjacent Public Utilities Commission building. 
Adjacent land use consists of commercial use to the north and west, 
recreational end institutional use to the south and light industrial 
use to the east on the southeast corner of Morton and Ridout Street. 
A new Public Utilities Commission Building is under construction. The 
Thames River is located immediately south of the plant site on the 
south side of Morton Street. River level is about 3 to 6 metres below 
street level and flows west parallel to Morton Street then turns and 
flows north parallel to Thames Street. 



89 



Potential Environmental Inpact 

The London gas works has had a number of documented problems 
resulting from waste materials associated with the gas plant site. 

The first occurrence of off-site contamination was associated 
with Phase I activities of the Norton Street Extension project. A 
geotechnical borehole drilled in the summer of 1983 adjacent to the 
river west of Thames Street intersected a layer of oil saturated sand 
and gravel at a depth of about 3 metres below surface. The 
contaminated material was limited in extent and localized to the river 
bank area. Analytical results from soil samples of the contaminated 
material collected by the MOE identified the material as a "complex 
mixture of high molecular weight components, resins and minerals oils, 
tentatively bitumen (asphalt) composition" but PAH components were not 
specifically analyzed. This contaminated material was excavated and 
removed in an environmentally secure manner as part of the construction 
project. The location of this off-site contamination and its limited 
extent suggests that it may have been an off-site disposal area for gas 
plant wastes. 

The second occurrence in 1985 was again associated with the 
Horton Street Extension project. This time an oily substance was found 
during excavation for a storm sewer along Horton Street. The storm 
sewer discharges to the Thames River immediately south of Horton Street 
and west of Ridout Street. The contamination was found at the 
northwest corner of Ridout Street and the Thames River. The oily 
substance was not analyzed for PAH components and therefore the 
presence of coal tar was not confirmed. 

During recent construction of the new PUC building, 
contaminated groundwater was found seeping into the foundation 
excavation. The presence of PAH compounds was confirmed In the 
groundwater but the extent of contaminated seepage was not reported. 



nvrrrr 



90 



Analytical results of samples of river water and oily seepage 
in the area of Norton Street and the Thames River where an oily 
odourous discharge was observed indicate the presence of trace levels 
of PAH. The results for the river water sample have yet to be 
confirmed by repeat sairpling. 

During the site visit, an inspection of the storm sewer 
outlet at the Thames River suggests that the sewer may be a possible 
source of the river contamination. The outlet consists of a flat 
concrete outfall that discharges water over gabions to the river. 
Water with an oily sheen was found to be discharging beneath the 
concrete outfall (i.e., not from the storm sewer but beneath it). 
Although there was no odour detected, the colour and consistency of the 
oil was similar to that observed on other PAH contaminated surface 
waters. 

The potential environmental effects from this site are high 
and the possible effects are represented by the historical occurrences 
of off-site contamination. The most significant environmental impact 
is the potential for polluting the Thames River. This impact may 
already be occurring based on the unconfirmed analytical results of the 
river sanples. Health effects may result from dermal contact with 
contaminated river water or sediments or the ingestion of contaminated 
water or aquatic life during recreational use of the river (i.e., 
swimming, boating, fishing). 



91 



Options for Further Action 

For the London site, the following are considered appropriate 
options for further actions: 

• Notifying property owners and municipality that buried gas 
plant wastes may be found on-site; 

• Repeat sampling of the Thames River water to confirm (or 
refute) the presence of trace levels of PAH compoinds; 

• Sediment sanpling from the shore of the Thames River 
adjacent to the gas plant site and analysis for PAH 
compounds; 

• Soil sampling on-site and between the gas plant site and 
the river to determine extent of waste material remaining 
on-site and the extent of off-site migration; 

• Visual inspection of the storm sewer and river bank in the 
spring to detect evidence of waste material. 



92 



4.3.21 Napanee 

Site Description 

The Napanee gas works was a small site formerly located at 
46 Water Street and bounded by West and Robert Streets and the Napanee 
River. The plant was operated from about 1876 to 1921 initially as a 
coal carbonization facility but was likely converted to water gas by 
the early 1900s. The gas works was operated by the Napanee Gas Co. 
until 1882 when it was taken over by the city and operated as the 
Napanee Water and Electric Light Company. By 1911 the Seymour Power 
and Electric Co. had purchased the facilities from the town but by 1916 
the Seymour Co. was purchased by the Hydro Electric Power Commission of 
Ontario who operated the plant until 1921 when it was closed down. 

The former gas works is now occupied by a small garage and 
welding shop and an Oddfellows Hall and parking lot. Adjacent land use 
consists of residential land use to the north, west and east and 
recreational land use (Napanee River) to the south. An engineering 
plan for the stabilization of the shoreline of the river is planned. 
Further development plans for the srea include a boat ramp and parking 
lot. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

There have been no reported problems associated with this 
site nor have waste materials been encountered in the area. An 
inspection of the welding shop which was constructed into the 
underlying bedrock at about the same location of the former gas house 
did not reveal evidence of seepage or odours. 



93 



The only potential environmental impact that may occur at 
this site is that buried waste materials may be encountered during bank 
stabilization or construction of the boat ramp. Further studies are 
required to determine whether or not buried wastes exist at this site. 

Option for Further Action 

For the Napanee site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• Notifying property owners and municipality that burled gas 
plant wastes may be found on-site; 

• Prior to bank stabilization, soil sampling and visible 
inspection in the area of the bank near the former gas 
plant to ensure that the bank does not contain gas plant 
wastes and that such wastes are not released to the river 
during bank excavation. 



i.%nmi 



94 



4.3.22 Oshawa - Bond Street 

Site Description 

The Oshawa - Bond Street gas works was located on the 
northwest corner of Bond and Centre Streets. The layout, size and 
periods of operation of this facility are uncertain, as a result of 
poor coverage from historical references. No map of the facility 
exists. The operation of a manufactured gas plant at this site is 
confirmed by a 1903 mortgage on the property that refers to the gas 
house and the gas generating facilities. In 1903 the plant was 
purchased by the Oshawa Gas Co. In 1916, the Hydro Electric Power 
Commission of Ontario by virtue of the Central Ontario Power Act became 
owner of the site. In 1928 the Commission sold the property as a 
warehouse and storage area. 

The former gas plant property is now in a central business 
district (commercial) with an eight storey office building (Durham 
Towers) located on the eastern part of the original site and an 
automotive transmission repair shop on the western part of the original 
site. Both of these buildings are on slab foundations and are without 
significant basements. Surrounding land use is principally 
commercial. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

No immediate environmental concern is perceived to exist at 
this site. The lack of evidence of buried waste, from geotechnical 
investigations and excavations conducted both on- and off-site, 
indicate a low potential for environmental inpact and negligible health 
effects. Inspection of foundations during excavation for the 
automotive transmission building showed no tars or sludges in 1971. 
Geotechnical investigations for the Durham Towers Office Building in 
1976 also showed no evidence of buried wastes. On-site inspection of 
storm sewers and an excavation immediately south of the plant site 
indicated no olfactory or visible evidence of buried waste. The lack 



95 



of significant basements In the Durham Towers Office Building and the 
automotive transmission building, and the lack of groundwater use also 
contribute to a low potential environmental inpact at this site. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Oshawa-Bond Street site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

•• No further actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owners and municipality that burled 
gas plant wastes may be found on-site. 



96 



4.3.23 Oshawa - Emma Street 

Site Description 

This Oshawa gas works was located on the west side of the CN 
railway line (old Prospect Street) and north of Emma Street. The gas 
works was a medium-sized facility that operated from the turn of the 
century to about 1954, for about 53 years. The facility manufactured 
gas from coal for most of its history, although in later years 
(1950-1954) propane was manufactured. The gas works was operated by a 
variety of owners including the Oshawa Gas Co. (1901-1916), the Hydro 
Electric Power Commission of Ontario (1916-1928), the City of Oshawa 
and the Oshawa Public Utilities Commission (1927-1930) and Ontario 
Shore Gas Co. Ltd. (1931-1954). The site is now occupied by the 
Consumers Gas Co. who use the property as a storage area. A small 
office building is also maintained by Consumers Gas at 80 Emma Street. 
The storage area and building have controlled access as a result of a 
surrounding chain link fence. The former gas works property is now 
located within a mixed residential, commerical and light industrial use 
area. The site is zoned residential by the City of Oshawa. 
Surrounding land uses include a restaurant, railway storage yard, 
residences, fuel storage area and vacant land. The closest surface 
water body is Oshawa Creek which is less than a kilometer west of the 
site. No groundwater use is reported in the area of the site. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

Buried wastes in the form of tars and sludges are reported to 
exist at this site based on observations provided by an Oshawa resident 
who worked on the site during the 19408 and 1950s. The wastes are 
suspected to be located in the area of the former gas holding tanks. 
Theae tanks and the other gas plant buildings were located in the area 
that is now the Consumers Gas storage yard. The yard is overlain with 
gravel and asphalt. Odour detection in this area is complicated by the 



97 



presence of asphalt piles in the storage yard, the fuel storage area 
south of Emma Street and creosote-soaked railway ties in the railway 
storage yard north of the site. Ambient air monitoring, recently 
completed in the Consumers Gas building at 80 Emma Street showed below 
detection limit concentrations for total hydrocarbon and total aromatic 
vapours. These results demonstrate no health hazard from inhalation to 
enployees working in this building. 

The potential environmental inpact of this site, based on 
currently available information, is perceived to be minimal provided 
that the assumed buried wastes are contained, immobile and not 
excavated. Evidence to support the fact that wastes may be contained 
and immobile is provided by observations of a shallow utility 
excavation on Emma Street immediately south of the site. No gas plant 
wastes were observed in this excavation during the site inspection. 
The lack of groundwater use and the distance to surface water also act 
to lessen potential environmental inpact at this site. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Oshawa-Emma Street site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• No further actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owner and municipality that buried 
gaa plant wastes may be found on-site. 



98 

4.3.24 Ottawa, King Edward and York Streets 

Site Description 

The Bytown Consumers Gas Co. operated a retort coal 
gasification plant of large size at the southwest corner of York and 
King Edward Streets for street lighting starting in about 1834. The 
plant operated for about 63 years or until some time in the late 19108 
or 1920 st which time the facilities of the Ottawa Gas Co. were 
relocated to the Lees Avenue site. In the 1880s, the plant employed 23 
people and had three large gasometers as well as underground tar wells 
and tar condensers and gas purifying equipment. 

The site is now occupied by a Federal Government Office 
building and parking lot in a residential and public use area. A child 
care centre is locsted on the adjoining southerly property with parking 
lots and residences located on other surrounding properties. Two large 
former gas holding tanks are located below the front lawn of the 
federal building with a third tank and underground tar well situated 
below the building. 

In 1986, the owner of the property. Public Works Canada, 
commenced excavation as part of an upgrading and redevelopment of the 
existing building which was origially built in the 1940s. During 
excavation of the basement and outside of the building, black tar was 
encountered. Upon advice of Environment Canada and the Ontario 
Ministry of the Environment, the property owner retained a consultant 
to assess the coal tar contamination problem at this site. Soil 
borings and sanpling of soils and groundwater have been undertaken at 
the site on behalf of the owner. 



99 



Potential Environmental Impact 

Site investigations undertaken on behalf of the owner of the 
property have shown the occurrence of "black odourous substances" in 
the majority of the 31 boreholes drilled from within and outside of the 
existing building. These gas plant wastes were found both within and 
outside of tanks and other structures where tars were e}^ected to 
accumulate. Chemical analyses of the soil end groundwater samples 
collected from the site investigation program have shown the presence 
of PAH characteristic of coal tar. On-site inspections of the sumps in 
the basement of the federal building have identified the presence of 
coal tar. An estimated 200-300 L of tar are located in the bottom of 
the boiler room sump. 

Given the widespread occurrence of tars on-site and in the 
sunps there is potential environmental impact related to off-site 
migration of the wastes and to inhalation of airborne PAH by federal 
employees working in the building. However, preliminary results from 
an air monitoring program conducted by Health and Welfare Canada and 
reported by Public Works Canada staff have shown negligible levels of 
airborne gas plant wastes and therefore no hazard to human health from 
such inhalation. The presence of pure coal tar within the boiler room 
sump is a potential hazard to health for employees who may service or 
clean the sump both in terms of inhalation and dermal contact. Also 
the presence of tar within the sump will result in discharge of PAH 
contaminated water and coal tar to the City sewer system. 

Off-site migration of gas plant wastes is likely given the 
occurrence of coal tar near the property boundary, particularly to the 
northeast along King Edward Avenue. Migration of wastes to the 
southeast toward the child care centre appears less likely. Air 
monitoring of the child care centre recently conducted by Health and 
Welfare Canads and reported by Centre staff has shown no detectable 



100 



airborne contaminants attributable to coal tar wastes. Inspection of 
the basements and sunp of the child care buildings show no visible or 
olfactory evidence of gas plant wastes. 

Options for Further Action 

A consultant hired by Public Works Canada is presently 
conducting studies on the Ottawa-King Edward site. Pending completion 
and documentation of these studies, the only immediate action required 
is notification of the property owners and the municipality that buried 
wastes are located on the former gas plant property and may be 
migrating off-site. 



101 



4.3.25 Ottawa, Lees Avenue 

Site Description 

Sometime between 1915 and 1920, the Ottawa Gas Co. relocated 
its gas works from the King Edward Street - York Street location to the 
site at 175 Lees Avenue. The Lees Avenue gas works was a large 
facility that operated for about 37 years or until 1957 when natural 
gas piplines made the operation uneconomical. The plant was operated 
under different company names including the Ottawa Gas Co., Ottawa 
Heat, Light and Power Co., Interprovincial Utilities Ltd. and Consumers 
Gas Co. The site is located on the north side of Lees Avenue, south of 
Highway 417 and between Lees Avenue on rsmps to the west and the Lees 
Avenue overpass to the east. 

Gas plant operations changed from retort coal gasification to 
carburetted water gas in the late 1930s. Comprehensive air photo 
coverage of the site is available for the period 1925 to present. The 
site was demolished in 1966-67. The site is located 150 m northwest of 
the Rideau River. 

In 1981-83, the site was developed as a below ground bus 
transitway station by the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton. 
Because the bus station is below the grounc^ater table, continued 
pumping is required to prevent the bus station from flooding. A 
1220 mm diameter atorm sewer was constructed to discharge the pumped 
water from the transitway station directly to the Rideau River. 

The site is now occupied by the Lees Avenue transitway 
station and parking lot, a Consumers Gas metering station, an existing 
high rise apartment building (169 Lees Avenue - constructed in 1985) 
and vacant lend proposed for development as a high rise apartment 
building. 



102 



Potential Environment Iirpact 

Environmental inpacts have already occurred for the Lees 
Avenue site. In late April 1986, tars were observed in the punphouse 
of the Lees Avenue transitway station and in the adjacent Rideau River 
in the vicinity of the outfall from the pumping station. The discovery 
of this contamination resulted in closure of the Lees Avenue station 
and installation of a boom to contain the oil slick on the Rideau 
River. Subsequently, a leachate collection and treatment facility was 
constructed to collect and treat coal tar contaminated water at the 
transitway station and removal of an estimated 40 m' of tar from the 
bottom of the River over a 100 m by 40 m area has been undertaken. 
CleanHjp of the River is ongoing and will resume in spring 1987. 

Drilling and sampling investigations conducted on the 
property at 169 Lees Avenue have shown that the foundation of the 
4,250 m-' gas holding tank is contaminated with coal tar. An 
underground parking lot and a second high-rise apartment building are 
planned for this property. A potential environmental impact exists for 
this site as a result of excavation of buried wastes and exposure of 
these wastes to workers involved in the excavation. Approval for this 
development is pending subject to the results of site investigations 
undertaken by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. 

In addition to the gas works, a tar distillation plant 
operated south of the gas works and Lees Avenue from about 1920 to 
sometime in the late 1940s. This facility distilled coal tars received 
from the gas works and later from other sources. Because this facility 
handled and processed coal tars, it is a second industrial source of 
coal tar contamination in the Lees Avenue area. The plant was located 
on what is now 170 Lees Avenue. A high-rise apartment building now 
occupies the site. Soil and groundwater contamination have been 
discovered at this site, beside and below the 170 Lees Avenue apartment 
building. 



103 



Options for Further Action 

Consultants hired by the Regional Municipality of 
Ottawa-Carleton and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment are 
presently conducting studies and remedial actions at the Ottawa-Lees 
Avenue site. Pending completion and documentation of these studies no 
further action is required, at this time. 



lOA 



4.3.26 Owen Sound 

Site Description 

The Owen Sound gas works was an intermediate-sized facility 
that operated as a retort coal gasification plant (1888-1938) and later 
(1939-1947) as a coke oven plant for a total period of 59 years. The 
gas works were operated under a series of different names including 
Owen Sound Gas Light and Fuel Co. (1888-1892); Owen Sound Gas Light Co. 
(1892-1912); Owen Sound Gas Department (1912-1915); and the Public 
Utilities Commission of Owen Sound (1915-1947). The former street 
address for the plant was 1141-1145 First Ave. E. The plant was 
bounded by First and Second Ave. E. and Eleventh and Twelfth St. E. 

The former gas plant property is now occupied by the Brewer's 
Retail Store and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario store and 
associated parking lots. Both stores do not have basements. The site 
is now located within a mixed commercial-residential area and is 
assessed a high ranking in this category. Adjacent land use includes 
residences, parking lot, grocery store, railway station and machine 
shop. The site is essentially adjacent to the Sydenham River which 
forms part of Owen Sound harbour. The surface water use in this area 
is recreational. The drinking water supply for the City of Owen Sound 
is obtained from Owen Sound (Georgian Bay). The intake is about 6-7 km 
northeast of the former gas plant site. No groundwater use is reported 
within the area of the former gas plant site. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

No immediate environmental impact or adverse health effect is 
evident for the Owen Sound site. The buildings currently on-site and 
most of the buildings on adjoining properties do not have basements and 
therefore are unlikely to have disturbed gas plant wastes if they are 
in fact buried at this site. On-site inspections of the property and 



105 



adjacent harbour showed no visible or olfactory evidence of buried 
wastes. The harbour is separated from the site by a concrete and steel 
wall of uncertain depth. The wall depending on Construction details 
may act to prevent wastes from entering the harbour. 

While no immediate environmental Inpact or adverse heslth 
effect is evident for this site, the size of the site and its duration 
of operation suggests that some wastes are likely buried on-site. In 
particular, an historical account of tar-handling procedures provided 
by a former gas plant enployee suggests that some tars are buried 
on-eite. The 1923 fire insurance plan also suggests buried wastes with 
the existence of an underground tar tank located beneath First Ave. E* 

Options for Further Action 

For the Owen Sound site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• notify the present owners and municipality that buried gas 
plant wastes may be found on-site and below First Ave. E. 

• detailed inspection of street sewer lines particularly 
those on First Ave. E., to evaluate potential influx of 
tars. Sanpling of sediment in storm sewers might also be 
considered. 



106 

4.3.27 Peterborough 

Site Description 

The Peterborough gas works was a large manufactured gas plant 
that operated for close to 80 years on the northside of Simcoe Street 
between Queen Street and the Otonabee River. The plant operated as a 
coal gasification plant and later as a carburetted water gas plant and 
possibly as a propane facility in the 1950's. Today the site is 
utilized principslly ss a parking lot and as a provincial court 
building. The site has uncontrolled access snd is considered public 
use. The site is within A5 m of the Otonabee River. The Otonabee 
River has mostly recreational use. Brick work as part of a former 
20,000 ft' capacity gas holding tank is visible in the northwest 
corner of the site. 

The site is characterized by a sloping land surface from the 
northwest across the site to the southeast toward the Otonabee River. 
The change in elevation from the northwest corner of the site to the 
Otonabee is about 25-30 ft. The soil stratigraphy, as determined by 
1973 and 1982 soil borings, is oily contaminated fill overlying 
alluvial deposits (silt, sand, gravel) which in turn overlie a dense 
till. The fill and alluvial deposits thin to the northwest away from 
the river. In the northwest corner of the site the till unit is near 
surface. Some oil (tar) contamination was also noted in the alluvial 
deposits that overlie the till. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The site size, soil conditions, duration of operation, 
current land use, proximity to the Otonabee River and evidence of 
buried waste and tar contamination problems result in a high potential 
environmental inpact for this site. 



107 



Site investigations using soil borings conducted in 1973 and 
1982 identified widespread oil (tar) contamination in the fill and 
coarser grained alluvial deposits of the site to depths of 5 m. Most 
of the fill and alluvial deposits have been described as very oily. In 
1962-83, excavation for the provincial court building encountered oily 
contafninated fill to depths of 3 m. This fill was removed from the 
site and disposed at an unknown location. Since construction of the 
court building there have been some complaints of odours of unknown 
origin in the building in the area of the Judges Chambers. 

In February, 1986 excavation for installation of a watermain 
on the bank of Otonabee River adjacent to the site released an unknown 
volume of tar from the bank of the River into the River. The release 
of this tar resulted in an oil slick over a large area of the River in 
the vicinity of the excavation. A sanple of the tar collected and 
analyzed by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment showed constituents 
similar to coal tar. Also, divers involved in the installation of the 
watermain through the River bed reported skin rashes and swollen lips, 
symptoms related to skin contact with polynuclear aromatic 
hydrocarbons. However, the exact reasons these symptoms in this 
instance are not known. 

The soil stratigraphy and groundwater conditions at this site 
are likely to enhance migration of gas plant wastes such as coal tar 
toward the Otonabee River. The oils and tars identified in soil 
studies were observed within the fills and coarse grained alluvial 
deposits. These soils are underlain by a dense, till likely of low 
permeability. The till surface alopes from the northwest to the 
southeast towards the Otonabee River and may funnel dense non-aqueous 
phase contaminants such as coal tar toward the River. In addition to 
this sloping, low permeability surface the groundwater flow is toward 
the River and this will also enhance migration of both non aqueous 
phase and aqueous phaae contaminants toward the River. 



108 



Based on the observations of tar on-site and off-site and 
known soil conditions, there is a strong likelihood that off -site 
migration of gas plant wastes is occurring at the Peterborough site and 
that these wastes may be entering the Otonabee River. However, because 
of the high fluid velocities in the River in the vicinity of the site, 
and the likely low waste seepage rates, evidence of such migration is 
not expected to be readily visible on the surface of the River. 

Several actions have recently been carried out at the 
Peterborough site. The municipality, site owners and other interested 
parties have been informed of the presence of coal tar waste on the 
site. The Ministry of Labour has carried out some air quality 
monitoring of the court house building and further testing for PAHs is 
planned. 

Recent drilling and soil sanpling conducted by the City of 
Peterborough has indicated the presence of coal tar at several 
locations on the gas plant property and close to the Otonabee River. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Peterborough site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• conduct air monitoring in problem areas of courthouse to 
determine air-borne PAH and li^t aromatic concentrations; 

• detailed inspection of sewers to assess possible influx of 
gas plant wastes, sampling and analysis of water and 
sludge for PAH if tars are suspected; 

• detailed inspection end sediment sampling of the bank of 
the Otonabee River adjacent to the former plant and south 
of Simcoe St. to assess potential discharge of wastes to 
Otonabee River. 



109 

4.3.28 Port Hope 

Site Description 

The Port Hope gas works was a small retort coal gasification 
plant that operated for about 80 years between 1859 and 1939 under 
various names including the Port Hope Gas Light Company, the Port Hope 
Gas and Light Co. and the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario. 
The site is situated on the west side of John Street between Park and 
Alexander Streets. The former gas plant property is now a vacant lot 
owned by the Corporation of the Town of Port Hope. The property is 
situated within a residential area with some commerical land use on the 
east side of John Street. The site is hydrogeologically characterized 
by a high groundwater table with numerous springs and areas of 
groundwater discharge as a result of a local topographic high to the 
northwest of the site. Some remnants of a former building (likely the 
gas works building) are evident on-site. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

No information on soil borings or excavation was obtained for 
the Port Hope site. The only evidence of buried wastes at this site is 
from a hydrocarbon odour detected in the storm sewer manhole on the 
west side of John Street at the corner of Alexander Street. 

Although groundwater levels are high, no groundwater use 

exists within the area of the site. Drinking water is from Lake 

Ontario with the pumping station located about 800 m south of the 
former gas works site. 



110 



Based on available information, the Port Hope site currently 
is considered not to pose a significant environmental impact. However 
because of the discharging groundwater conditions in the area and the 
odour detected in the storm sewer, the site assessment may change if 
the site is inspected during the spring when groundwater levels will be 
highest. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Port Hope site the following are considered 
appropriate options for further action: 

• notify property owners and municipality that buried wastes 
may be found on-site. 

• reinspect the site in the spring to look for contaminated 
discharge in the area of the springs. 



Ill 



4.3.29 Port Stanley 

Site Description 

The historical information for the Port Stanley gas plant 
site is uncertain primarily due to the lack of historical maps for the 
site. The site is located on Carlow Road. The available information, 
most of it unconfirmed, indicates the site was owned by Southern 
Ontario Gas Company from the 1920s to the 1930s and Dominion Gas 
Company from the 19308 to the 1950s. The gasification plant was most 
likely built in the late 1940s (possibly 1948) and operated, perhaps 
intermittently, until at least the late 19508. Although it is not well 
documented, the gasification process was most likely an oil gas process 
using oil supplied from bulk storage tanks. In the 19708, the property 
was occupied by Shamrock Chemicals Ltd. and Ultramar Canada Inc. 
Shamrock Chemicals produced solid fertilizer using spent sulphuric acid 
as an ingredient. Ultramar owned two large bulk fuels tanks located 
south of the gasification facilities. 

Today, Shamrock Chemical is sill located on the property and 
many of the original gas facilities are still in place but have been 
modified for the production of fertilizer. The gas holding tanks, 
still on-site, are the most obvious indication of the former gas works. 
In addition, several other tanks containing acids are found on the 
site. Ultramar 's bulk storage tanks have been removed but the concrete 
foundation remaina. Adjacent land use consists of agricultural land 
uae to the north and west, residential land use to the south, and 
recreational land use to the east. A proposal has been submitted to 
redevelop the site into a oil re-refinery. The site is located 
adjacent to Kettle Greek which flows south to Lake Erie. 



112 



Potential Environmental Impact 

The Port Stanley gas plant has had several impacts on the 
environment. The most significant impact occurred in November, 1986 
when an oil tar "blob" was found in Kettle Creek at the mouth of a 
ditch that drains the property. The open ditch is referred to as the 
George Street Drain and runs from George Street, along the southern 
edge of Ultramar's and Shamrock's property, to a culvert under Carlow 
Road and finally discharges from the culvert to Kettle Creek. The oil 
tar "blob" was derived from the gas plant and seeped into the ditch 
near the property where it drained to Kettle Creek. The tar deposit 
was reported to cover 15 metres of the creek bottom and contained 
5-200 ppm of PAH. PAH contamination was not detected downstream nor in 
the Port Stanley water supply located on Lake Elrie, 1 km from the mouth 
of Kettle Creek. 

Shamrock Chemicals has had other environmental problems 
associated with the operation of the fertilizer plant. Acid spills and 
acid seepage have been reported entering the drainage ditch. The 
discharges to the creek are complicated by the presence of oil tar in 
the waste acid. Over one million litres of waste acids and oily sludge 
is reported to be stored on-site. 

The chemical company is presently under a control order by 
the MOE and clean-up of the site and hydrogeologic studies are 
underway . 

In its present state, the potential for futher environmental 
impacts at this site is considered to be high. This assessment is 
based on existing oil tar seepage to the ditch and the presence of 
on-site wastes and extensive water pollution. MOE is presently 
studying this site in order to reduce future impacts. 



t^nrr 



113 



Development of this site into an oil re-refinery may result 
in an increase in the potential environmental impacts unless 
remediation measures are inplemented prior to redevelopment. 

Options for Further Action 

Consultants hired by the property owners are presently 
conducting additional studies on the Port Stanley site. Pending 
completion and documentation of these studies, the only action required 
is notification of the property owners and municipality that buried 
wastes may be found on-site and may be migrating off-site. The Ontario 
Ministry of the Environment is continuing to study this site to ensure 
that the site meets regulatory requirements. 



114 



4.3.30 St. Catharines 

Site Description 

The St. Catharines gas works was a large facility (1.4 
hectare) which operated from 1853 to sometime in the mid to late 
19208. The gas company was originally operated by the St. Catharines 
and Welland Canal Gas Light Co. (1833-1903) and later by the 
St. Catharines Gas. Co. (1903-1928). The City of St. Catherines 
acquired the gas company in 1912. The gas manufacturing process was 
likely retort coal gasification. 

The gas plant was located on the southside of Gale Crescent 
at the bottom of Calvin Street beside the Old Welland Canal. Old 
photographs and plans show three gas holding tanks located adjacent to 
the old Welland Canal and south of the gas plant buildings. The former 
gas plant, property is now zoned greenbelt, owned by the City of 
St. Catharines and known as the St. Catharines Centennial Gardens. The 
site is public use, with uncontrolled access and is located within a 
general residential, recreational and commercial land use area. The 
closest surface water is the Old Welland Canal, which is polluted with 
other industrial wastes. The only sewer in the area is a storm sewer 
that discharges to the Old Welland Canal southwest of Calvin Street in 
the general vicinity of the former gas plant. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

Although the St. Catharines gas works was a large facility 
which operated for more than 60 years, the lack of evidence of buried 
wastes indicates a low assessment of potential environmental impact. 
Inspection of the site showed no evidence of the existence of a former 
manufactured gas plant. However, odour detection of gas plant wastes 
at the site was hampered as a result of the strong odours of pulp and 
paper wastes in the Old Welland Canal. 



115 



While there does not appear to be any immediate environmental 
impact or health effect at this site, we expect, based on the results 
for other sites, that gas plant wastes especially tars and sludges are 
likely buried at this site. The lack of any significant excavation or 
soils investigations at the site contributes to the uncertainty with 
regard to subsurface conditions. 

Inspection of the storm water outfall to the Old Wei land 
Canal was also inconclusive as the water in the sewer was frozen and 
outfall was snow covered. Reinspection of this outfall in warmer 
weather, particularly during spring snow melt is recommended and may 
result in a different site assessment with respect to evidence of 
buried wastes. 

Options for Further Action 

For the St. Catharines site the following are considered 
appropriate options for further action; 

• notify the present owners and municipality that buried 
wastes may be found on-site. 

• reinspect the storm sewer outfall in the spring in order 
to assess whether wastes are present. 

• reinspect the bank of the canal in the spring to look for 
evidence of buried wastes and discharges to canal. 



116 

4.3.31 St. Thomas 

Site Description 

The St. Thomas gas works occupied the northern three-quarters 
of the block (approximately 1.5 ha) bounded by Scott (formerly Gas), 
Mondamin, Curtis and St. Catherine Streets. The facility was operated 
by the St. Thomas Gas Company from 1877 to 1901, the City of St. Thomas 
Gas Department from 1901-1930 and the Gas Commission of St. Thomas from 
1930-1935 for a total operating period of 58 years. Gas was produced 
by a retort process initially but a water gas facility was also present 
by 1930. 

Today the property is occupied by the St. Thomas Public 
Utilities Commission who have a hydro substation, garage and office on 
the northeast quadrant of the block and a small plaza with stores and 
offices on the northwest quadrant of the block. Adjacent properties 
consist of residential land use to the north, west and east and 
institutional (police station and library) land use to the south. The 
nearest surface water body is Kettle Creek located approximately 0.9 km 
to the northwest but a small creek drains the area of Hiawatha and 
Owaissa Streets approximately 180 metres northwest of the site. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The St. Thomas gas plant site has had several reported 
instances of on- and off-site evidence of buried gas plant waste. 
During the construction of the Scott-Kains Street Dog Elimination Road 
and Sewer Construction Project (City of St. Thomas, 1969) wastes in 
several forms were encountered. This project realigned Scott Street to 
connect with Kains Street and eliminated Gas Street in the process. 
The jog elimination resulted in road and sewer construction across the 
northwest corner of the gas plant property. By comparison of the gas 
plant historical map from 1929 with the jog elimination construction 



117 



plan it is apparent that the construction would have intersected 
several former gas plant structures including the retort house, a small 
gas holding tank and possibly an underground creosote (tar) tank. 
Geotechnical boreholes, drilled as part of this project, intersected 
fill material containing cinders, ashes, brick, glass and black organic 
material. In one of the boreholes, located to the east of the former 
gas plant a slight organic odour was detected. Most of the fill 
material is associated with a buried creek bed. The creek, prior to 
being filled, is apparent on a historical map from 1877, and extends 
across the gas plant property from southeast to northwest. It is 
likely that the creek was filled in with waste material, mostly ashes 
and cinder from the gas plant. 

During construction of storm sewers along the newly 
constructed Scott Street, a large volume of "deleterious" material was 
removed from the area between Mondamin and Hiawatha Streets to a depth 
of about 7.6 m below surface. Although it is not stated it is likely 
this material was fill material associated with the buried creek bed. 
The disposal location of the excavated material is unknown. 

During the site visit and inspection of the PUC buildings two 
PUC enployees reported evidence of buried tar on-site. The first 
report referred to tarry material in an excavation during the 
construction of the storm sewer on Scott Street. The approximate 
location was the corner of Scott and Mondamin Street. The second 
report described oil and tar material in an excavation on the PUC's 
property. The excavation was abandoned and filled in. The approximate 
location was in the area of the former gas purifying house and the gas 
holding tank. An inspection of the basement of the hydro substation 
(corner of Scott and St. Catherine) did not detect odours or tar 
seepage in the building sunps. 



118 



This site has evidence to support the interpretation of 
buried wastes on-site and possible migration off-site. The most likely 
migration pathway would be in the buried creek bed as this channel 
would be relatively perneable. If this is the case the migration 
direction is to the northwest towards a residential area and into the 
small creek at Hiawatha Street. In addition, several institutional 
buildings to the south have basements and may be affected by tar 
seepage. The potential environmental impacts for this site require 
further investigations. 

Options for Further Action 

For the St. Thomas site the following are considered 
appropriate options for further action: 

• notify the property owners and municipality that buried 
wastes may be found on-site; 

• off-site soil sampling of storm sewers and building sumps 
around the plant site and in the area of the buried creek 
bed is necessary; 

• if significant off-site contamination is found, soil 
sanpling on-eite and visual inspection for gas plant 
wastes to determine extent of waste material on-site is 
required. 



119 



4.3.32 Sarnia 

Site Description 

The Sarnia gas works was located on Maxwell Street and 
occupied about 0.3 ha of land on the southern portion of the block 
bounded by Maxwell, Water, Front and Nelson Streets. The gas plant was 
operated by Sarnia Consumers Gas Company from 1884 to 1893, and the 
Sarnia Gas and Electric Li^t Coitpany from 1893 to 1909. In 1909, the 
Sarnia was converted to natural gas supplied to the city by pipeline. 

The property is now occupied by Sarnia Hydro who operate a 
hydro-electric substation. The former gas plant property is fenced and 
access is controlled by a locked gate. Sarnia Hydro has plans to sell 
the property in order to build a new hydro station on adjacent 
property. Adjacent land use consists of commercial/residential to the 
north, recreational to the west, and residential to the south and east. 
The former gas plant site is located 123 m east of the St. Clair River. 

Potential Environemntal Impact 

The Sarnia gas plant site has had no reported occurrences of 
on-site wastes and no problems with waste or odours have been reported. 
A site inspection of the basement of the hydro substation, the only 
building existing on-site, did not detect odours or contaminated 
seepage. Waste materials were not reported in excavationa in the area 
of Water, Maxwell and Front Streets during the construction of storm 
and sanitary sewers and watermalns. One geotechnical borehole located 
on the southeast corner of Maxwell and Front Streets intersected 
cinders near the surface in fill material. 



120 



The potential for environmental inpacts from this site is 
considered to be low at this time based on the site's short operating 
period and lack of evidence for on-site waste. The possibility exists 
that waste may be buried on-site and that future development may occur 
on-eite exposing these wastes during excavation. 

Options for Further Study 

For the Sarnia site the following are considered appropriate 
options for future actions: 

• notify property owners and municipality that buried wastes 
may be found on-site. 

■ if the site is to be developed, soil sanpling on-site is 
required to determine whether or not buried wastes are 
present. 



121 



4.3.33 Sault Ste. Marie 

Site Description 

The Great Northern Gas Co. purified and distributed coke oven 
gas to the City of Sault Ste. Marie from about 1925 to 1963. The gas 
was produced by the Algoma Steel Corporation, which was located one 
block south of the Great htorthern Gas Co. property. There is some 
historical reference to earlier manufactured gas companies such as the 
Sault Ste. Marie Water, Gas and Light Co. however, no other details of 
earlier gas plant operation are available. 

The Great Northern Gas Company's facilities were located on 
the southwest corner of Goulais Avenue and Bonney Street. The site is 
currently an uncontrolled access parking lot owned by Algoma Steel. 
Adjacent property use is primarily industrial, with some residences 
located north of the site. There is no available history of excavation 
at the site, other than installation of watermains and sewers along 
adjacent streets. There are currently no plans to redevelop the site. 
The closest surface water body is East Davignon Creek which is located 
100 m southeast of the site. Some drinking water supply to the City is 
obtained from confined deep bedrock wells located 1.5 km north of the 
site. This site was not inspected. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

Because this property was used principally for gas 
purification and distribution, it is not likely that significant 
quantities of gas plant wastes in the form of tars or sludges would be 
disposed on site. These wastes were generated by Algoma Steel and 
would have been sold as a by-product or re-used as fuel. Given the 
current and planned land use, site location, lack of reported evidence 
of buried wates and resource characteristics, no significant 
environmental impact or adverse health effect is perceived to currently 
exist at this site. 



122 



Options for Further Action 

For the Sault Ste. Marie site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further action: 

• no further actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owners and municipality that buried 
gas plant wastes may be found on-site. 



123 



A. 3 .34 Sltncoe 

Site Description 

The Sincoe gas works was a small gas manufacturing facility 
that operated for a short period of time at the southeast corner of 
Pond and Water Streets from about 1891 to sometime in early to mid 
1910s. The gas works was dismantled and a shoe factory established on 
site in 1916. Some of the original gas plant buildings ere Intact 
today and house the City of Simcoe Information Centre. The only 
historical map available for the site is a gas main map that was part 
of the 1906 lease agreement between the Simcoe Gas and Water Co. Ltd. 
and the Dominion Natural Gas Co. Ltd. Based on this mapi the former 
gas holding tank was situated south of the gas plant buildings. A part 
of the Senior Citizens Centre likely now overlies this former gas 
holding tank. 

The site is now a public use facility, located in an open 
space, residential institutional land use area. Site access is 
uncontrolled. The site is situated adjacent to the Lynn River which 
has recreational use in the area of the site. The potential for 
excavation at this site is low because the original gas plant buildings 
are protected under the Ontario Heritage Act. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The only evidence to suggest the existence of any significant 
environmental impact and adverse health effect at this site is the 
reported occurrence of odours (oily, sewer gas?) in the north end of 
the Senior Citizens Centre. Intermittent odours in this building have 
been reported over several years since renovation of the building 
reportedly in the early to mid 1970s. The odours were of sufficient 
strength and persistence in 1986 to warrant excavation of the floor in 
the north end of the Centre. An open pipe/sewer was exposed and later 



124 



filled with concrete. This appears to have rectified the odour 
problem. Although no gas plant wastes were observed during this 
excavation, the location of these odours (i.e., similar to the assumed 
location of the former gas holding tank) suggests but does not prove a 
possible link with the former gas plant. The odours are now reported 
to be no longer persistent or problematic. 

Site inspections of storm water drains from the parking lot 
beside the Information Centre to the Lynn River were observed to be 
clean with no visible or olfactory evidence of gas plant wastes. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Simcoe site, the following are considered appropriate 
options for further actions: 

• no further actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owners and municipality that buried 
gas plant wastes may be found on-site. 



125 

4.3.35 Stratford 

Site Description 

The Stratford gas works was located on Wellington Street 
north of St. David Street adjacent to the Canadian National Railway 
tracks. The main gas facilities were located on the east side of 
Wellington Street and the main gas holding tank was located on the west 
side of Wellington Street. The Stratford Gas Company operated the gas 
works from 1875 to 1925 producing retort gas then water gas. The 
facility was taken over by the Stratford Public Utility Commission and 
operated from 1925 to 1953. 

Today, the property is still occupied by the PUC. A service 
centre (repair garage and storage yard) is located on the east side 
while an administration and office building is found on the west side 
of Wellington Street. One of the original buildings, the gas purifying 
house, remains on the site and is used as a garage. The service centre 
yard is a controlled access area with a fence and gate. Adjacent 
property consists of residential land use to the north, west and south 
and industrial land use to the east. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The Stratford gas works has had construction on top of the 
gas facilities but there have been no reported occurrences of gas plant 
wastes. The service centre, built in 1956, covers the area formerly 
occupied by the retort house, condenser and purifying house and the 
relief gas holding tank. The administration building was built in 1955 
and required the excavation of the main gas holding tank. Neither of 
these construction projects indicate buried wastes but only the 
adminietretion building would have required a foundation excavation. 
These projects were completed in the late 19508 and it is possible 



126 



that waste material could have gone unreported. Interviews with PUC 
enployees provided no indications of problems from the former gas 
plant. The site visits also did not reveal odours or evidence of 
wastes. 

The only indication of possible buried wastes is from gas 
plant plans provided by the PUC where two tar wells (capacity 16.8 m-' 
and 9.5 m'), a tar dehydrator chamber and a liquor well (capacity 
19 m') are shown at the northeast corner of Wellington Street and the 
railway tracks. This area is relatively untouched by construction and 
it is possible that this stored waste still remains in the ground. 

Based on the existing information, the potential for 
environmental inpacts is considered to be low primarily because on-site 
wastes have not been identified. This assessment could change and be 
elevated to a high potential if the tar wells are identified as 
containing waste material. The high potential environmental impact 
results from the presence of a municipal water supply well located on 
the eastern portion of the property. This well is over 60 metres deep 
with 30 metres of casing through confining clays and is unlikely to be 
contaminated from surface waste but the potential must be considered. 
Water quality sampling at the municipal water supply well located 
on-site and analysis of samples for PAH compounds has been done and no 
PAHs were found in the water. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Stratford site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• notify property owners and municipality that buried gas 
plant wastes may be found on-site. 

• geophysical surveys (e.g., ground probing impulse radar) 
to identify the location of buried tar tanks and wells. 



127 



4.3.36 Toronto - Station A 

Site Description 

The large gas works known as Station A was operated for over 
100 years from 1841 to 1954 in the general area of Front Street East 
and Parliament Street. The Station A gas works were operated primarily 
by Consumers Gas Co. on several properties in the general site area. 
The site is the largest retort coal gasification and carburetted water 
gas plant identified in this study. 

The Station A site includes the original gas works for the 
City of Toronto that was located on the west side of Princess Street 
between Front Street East and the Esplanade. This site was one block 
west of the main Station A site. The site likely commenced operation 
in 1841 by the Toronto Gas, Light and Water Commission. In the late 
1840s and 1830s, the site became incorporated into the main Front 
Street East gas works of Consumers Gas. The gas works at the Princess 
Street site likely ceased operation in 1855 although documentation 
shows that a gas house existed on the site in 1875. The Princess 
Street site is now used by the Canada Post Corporation as a truck depot 
and parking lot. 

The main Station A site was operational from 1848 to 1954. 
During this period of time, the Consumer's Gas Co. operated many 
different gas manufacturing facilities in the Front Street East - 
Parliament Street area. The former gas plant properties now includes 

• The Canadian Opera Co. property at the southwest corner of 
Front Street East and Berkeley Street; 

• The Greenspoon Bros. Ltd. property located immediately 
south of the Canadian Opera Company and used as Greenspoon 
offices and a rehearsal hall and workshop space by the 
Toronto Free Theatre; 



128 



• Fuhiman Auto Ltd., Plashkes and Zitney Ltd. and a numbered 
Ontario Co. properties between Berkeley and Parliament 
Streets south of Front Street East; 

• The property of Torstar Publishing Ltd., Bresler Realty 
Ltd. (gas station) and Toronto Transportation Commission 
bounded by Berkeley Street and Front Street East, 
Parliament Street and King Street East; 

• Parking Authority of Toronto property now the Metropolitan 
Toronto Library site (under construction) located on the 
southeast corner of Front Street East and Parliament 
Street; 

• Numbered Ontario Co. (Dodge car dealership) and Consumer's 
Gas Co. properties between the library site property and 
Trinity Street, south of Front Street East; 

• Runneymede Investment Corporation property (original gas 
plant building now vacant) located on the north side of 
Front Street East between Parliament Street and Erin 
Street. 

The current land use for the Toronto Station A site is mixed 
with light industrial, commercial, institutional and public uses 
identified. The Toronto Station A site was located in a former 
industrial area which through the years has evolved to commercial and 
more public land uses. Residential and public use areas are presently 
located to the south of Station A. It is clear that redevelopment will 
occur in this area as demand for downtown property increases. The 
recent construction for the Metropoliton Toronto Library site and the 
proposed development of the Greenspoon Bros, property are examples of 
this development. 



129 



Review of some of the available historical maps is valuable 
in identifying the location of former gas plant facilities and in 
assessing the potential environmental inpacts for each property. 
Because no historical maps are available for the Princess Street site, 
no detail can be provided on layout of these gas plant facilities. The 
property of the Canadian Opera Company was formerly used as a gas 
purifying house (original building still stands) and contained several 
underground tar tanks and oxide sheds. The Greenspoon Bros, property 
was the location of a former condenser house and exhauster house and 
contained several underground tar, liquor and ammonia wells. The 
property south of Front Street East between Berkeley and Parliament 
Streets contained coal sheds, coke sheds, offices and a large retort 
house. Property north of Front Street East between Berkeley and 
Parliament Streets was not extensively used for gas production. The 
Parking Authority of Toronto site (Library site) was the location of 
coal sheds, coke sheds, underground tar wells, oil tanks and a water 
gas house. The adjacent property to the east to Trinity Street was 
used prinicpally for surface gas holding tanks. The property north of 
Front Street East between Parliament and Erin Streets was used as a 
water gas purifying area and housed water gas purifiers and oxide 
sheds. The original water gas purifying building still stands and is 
vacant. 

The closest surface water body to the site is Lake Ontario 
which is located about 200 m south of the site. The Lake was closer to 
the site during early plant operation as a result of recent land 
reclamation. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

Significant environmental impact and potential adverse health 
effects are perceived to currently exist at this site at those 
locations where waste materials of concern have been identified. The 
recent development of the former City parking lot for the Metropolitan 
Toronto Library unearthed tara, and sludges and distinct tar odours 



130 



were observed on-site. A consultant was retained by the property owner 
to assess and remediate the tar contamination problem at this site. 
Potential environmental inpacts at this location relate to off-site 
migration of contaminated water and tars to City sewers, and nearby 
Lake Ontario. 

The moat pressing and significant concern for potential 
adverse health effect and environmental impact is associated with the 
property of Greenapoon Bros. Ltd. at 26 Berkeley Street (the area of 
the former condenser and exhauster houses). Inspections of the 
property revealed an odour of tar in the rehearsal hall of the Toronto 
Free Theatre. This odour was strongest in the sub-basement of the 
rehearsal hall where free uncontained tar was observed on the 
sub-basement floor. These occurrences of tar contamination prompted 
the retention of a consultant by the City of Toronto. The City is 
involved with a transfer of ownership of the site. The consultant has 
subsequently performed, during December 1986, air monitoring and tar 
and water analyses that confirm the presence of PAH and phenolic 
compounds. Although the airborne PAH compounds do not exceed Ontario 
Ministry of Labour standards, the odours are reported by Toronto Free 
Theatre staff to be significantly stronger during summer months when 
volatilzation of vapours is expected to be greatest. Tar and water 
sanples showed total selected PAH contents of 3800 and 18.6 ppm, 
respectively (Proctor and Redfern Group, 1987). The work conducted by 
this consultant also identified and investigated aeveral underground 
tanks at the aite and concluded that about 2250 m' (500,000 gallons) 
of PAH contaminated liquids and sludges exist at the site (Proctor and 
Redfern Group, 1987). Site investigations also indicated widespread 
contamination of soils with tars and sludges. 

Given the widespread soil contamination and high volumes of 
liquid waate identified at the 26 Berkeley Street property, there is 
concern over migration of waates off-site and into City sewers and 
groundwater. The lack of any groundwater use in this area mitigates 



131 



some of the environmental inpact. However the presence of PAH odours 
which will likely increase in intensity during the spring and summer 
months and the presence of uncontained coal tar in the sub-basement of 
the rehearsal hall, pose an inrnediate concern requiring remediation. 

In addition to this problem area, odours were observed on the 
property on the north side of Front Street East between Parliament and 
Erin Street (former water gas purifying area). This is likely 
indicative of buried wastes at this site. 

The property of the Canadian Opera Company at the southwest 
corner of Front Street East and Berkeley Street is thought, based on 
previous gas plant operationa, to have subsurface contamination. A 
large rectrangular tar tank is located below the rear parking lot of 
the Opera Company building, just north of the rear laneway. Tars and 
sludges hsve been observed in this tank (Proctor and Redfern Group, 
1987). 

In summary, to date only selected areas of the overall 
Toronto A site have been investigated and these studies have shown that 
a significant potential environmental inpact and possible adverse 
health effects exist in these areas. Given the size, duration, 
location and likely development and excavation at the site, there is a 
strong possibility that other environmental inpacts are occurring at 
other locations of this large site. 

Options for Further Actions 

For those parts of the Toronto Station A site where coal 
gasification - related wastes are or may be located, the following are 
considered appropriate options for further actions: 

• notify property owners and municipality that buried gaa 
plant wastes may be found on-elte; 



132 



• request the owner/occupant to contact the local Ministry 
of the Environment office to discuss the possibility that 
coal gasification - related wastes may be present on their 
site, end the associated environmental concerns} 

• review in detail the site history, waste storage 
locations, site excavation history, utility locations, 
geotechnical information, and past environmental problems 
to co-ordinate overall site assessment; 

• soil gas sampling to assess locations of buried wastes and 
extent of contaminant migration; 

• geophysical surveys (e.g*, ground probing impulse radar or 
electromagnetic induction) to determine locations of 
buried waste storage facilties; 

• investigstions of utility lines especially storm and 
sanitary sewers for evidence at gas plant wastes; 

• soil sampling and visual inspection of samples in 
selective areas of the site to identify the extent of 
on-site and possibly off-site contamination; 

• excavation and removal of buried waste storage facilities 
using environmentally secure methods. 



133 



4.3.37 Toronto - Station B 

Site Description 

The Toronto Station B gas works was a very large (14 ha) 
gas facility located on Eastern Avenue and now bounded primarily by 
Lakeshore Drive, Eastern and Booth Avenues and the Canadian National 
Railway tracks. The plant was operated by Consumers Gas Company from 
about 1909 to 1954 producing gas by both the coal carbonization and the 
carburetted water gas process. 

The gas plant property is presently occupied, because of its 
size, by several different parties. The majority of the former gas 
plant is occupied by various departments (Parks and Recreation, Public 
Works, City Property, and Buildings and Inspection) of the Corporation 
of the City of Toronto. The City of Toronto property fronts onto 
Eastern and Booth Avenue and is used for office, parking , garage and 
storage space. Their property is completed fenced with gates at the 
entrances as well as containing a large area of fenced storage 
compounds. The Consumers Gas Company has retained the northwest 
portion of the former gas plant site and uses the site for an office, 
garage, parking and general storage. Their property is fenced with 
access controlled by gates. The southwest portion of the former gas 
plant is occupied by Lever Brothers Limited and is pimarily used for 
truck parking associated with their factory to the west. Their 
property is also fenced with controlled access. The southeast portion 
of the property is occupied by a laundry factory and it too has 
controlled access. A small area, between Consumers Gas and the City of 
Toronto, is occupied by a bakery and a photographic studio. 

Adjacent property consists of residential land use to the 
north, industrial land use to the west and south and industrial/ 
commercial land use to the east. The former gas plant site is 
approximately 200 m from the Don River on the west and Ashbridges Bay 



134 

on Lake Ontario to the south. Numerous utility lines including storm 
and sanitary sewers, water mains, gas mains, telephone cables and 
abandoned ammonia pilelines are found on Eastern and Booth Avenues. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

The Station B gas works was a very large facility in 
operation for about 50 years and therefore the volume of waste material 
generated would also be large. However, most of ammonia liquor and tar 
was sold 88 a by-product and did not remain on-site. The coal tar and 
ammonia was removed via pipeline (to Station A) or train tanker by the 
contractor. Any wastes that remained on-site after demolition would 
most likely be that volume that remained in storage facilities (i.e., 
tar tanks and wells) and process equipment (i.e., gas holding tanks, 
pipelines, etc.). Information collected to date indicates that waste 
materials are present on-site even though the site inspection failed to 
identify on-site problems. 

In 1976, the City of Toronto property was developed to 
construct the existing Works Yard and during the construction large 
volumes of waste materials were encountered in several locations. In 
1977, it was reported that between 340 and 450 m^ of an oil-tar 
substance were discovered in a 23 metre deep tank. The present 
information suggests that this material was removed by the city but the 
extent of removal (i.e., volume removed, date of removal, tank 
excavation) can not be confirmed nor can the location of waste disposal 
be identified. In 1979, a liquid bituminous waste was discovered in a 
large sump located near the western boundary of the Work Yard. This 
sump contained at least 34 m^ of waste material. Again there is 
evidence to indicate the waste was removed but the details of removal 
are not known at this time. A soils inspection report completed to 
investigate footings of new buildings for the Works Yard identified oil 
stains in a grey sand at a depth of 2.6 metres below surface. 



135 



Historical maps and air photos for the site also indicate at 
least seven underground tar or anvnonia liquor tanks were located 
on-site. 

From this information, it is apparent that waste material has 
been identified on-site and it is possible that more waste contained in 
buried tanks may still exist on the property. There is a potential for 
some environmental inpact at this site as buried waste has been found 
on the site in the past. This potential reflects the present land use 
and accessibility of the property. The property is mostly 
industrial/commercial land use and at present the majority of the 
former waste storage areas are undeveloped and used for storage or 
parking. The former waste storage areas are also largely inaccessible 
to the general public due to fencing and locked gates. Given that the 
most significant receptors for impact are the occupants of the 
residences to the north and the property workers it is unlikely that 
they will come into contact with the waste material. Similarly the 
surface water bodies are at sufficient distances such that they are 
unlikely to receive waste material by normal seepage. The only 
possible inpacts for this site may result from seepage of contaminated 
material to utility lines or building sumps or odours resulting from 
volatilization of buried wastes. If the property were to be developed, 
the potential environmental inpacts would rise significantly. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Toronto-Station B site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• notify property owners and municipality that buried gas 
plants wastes may be found on-site; 



136 



• request the owners/occupants to contact the local Ministry 
of the Environment office to discuss the possibility that 
coal gasification - related waste may be present on their 
site, and the associated environmental concerns; 

• inspection of utility lines especially storm and sanitary 
sewers, and building sumps for evidence of coal tar 
wastes; 

• if as a result of the above inspections, gas plant wastes 
are found to be entering underground utility lines and 
sewers then on-site investigations are required to 
identify the source and nature of the wastes. 



137 

4.3.38 Toronto - Station C 

Site Description 

The Toronto Station C facility was a gas storage area 
(2.4 ha) consisting of two large gas holding tanks and gas was not 
produced on the property. Consumers Gas Company owned and operated the 
facility from about 1909 until 1954 on property located at the 
northwest corner of Bathurst Street and the Canadian National Railway 
tracks. The property is bounded by Bathurst, Niagara and Tecumseth 
Streets and the CN tracks. 

Today, the property is occupied by the Toronto Refiners and 
Smelters Ltd. and the area of the gas holding tanks is presently a 
parking lot and storage area for used car batteries and a metal 
smelter. Adjacent land use consists of residential land use to the 
north, industrial/commercial to the west and east and the CN Railway to 
the south. The nearest surface water body is Lake Ontario loated 
300 metres to the south 

Potential Environmental Impact 

This site did not produce gas and therefore buried wastes may 
only be associated with tar residue remaining on the foundation of the 
former gas holding tanks. There have been no reports of buried wastes 
on-site at this location. The property is now an industrial area with 
acesa controlled by fences and locked gates. No development is planned 
for this property. 

The potential for environmental impacts from this site is 
considered to be low as a result of no gas production on-site, 
industrial land use with controlled access and no reported wastes 
on-site. 



138 



Option for Further Action 

For the Toronto-Station C site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• no further actions are required at this site other than 
notifying the present owners and municipality that buried 
gas plant wastes may be found on-site. 



139 

4.3.39 Waterloo 

Site Description 

The Waterloo gas works was located east of Regina Street 
(formerly Queen Street South) on a triangular tract of land bounded by 
Regina, William and Herbert Street. Herbert Street has recently been 
abandoned between Regina and William Street. The chain of ownership of 
the site is uncertain but the gas facilities were operated initially by 
the Waterloo Gas Company starting in 1889 to about 1894 and then 
operated by the Waterloo Consumer Gas Company from 1894. Historical 
records also indicate other operators, such as the Waterloo Gas 
Department (1914-1920) (part of the PUC?) and the Waterloo Public 
Utilities Commission (1947-1957). The total operating period was from 
1889 to about 1942 but the gas holding tank was used as a gas reservoir 
with coal gas supplied from Kitchener until about 1957. Gas was 
produced initially by coal carbonization using retorts but was 
converted to water gas early in its history. 

Today, the gas plant property is under development with 
on-going construction of the Waterloo City Centre and commercial office 
space. The construction includes underground parking and the diversion 
and rerouting of Laurel Creek which transverses the north end of the 
property. Adjacent land use consists of CN Railway and commercial 
property to the north, commercial land use to the west and residential 
land use to the south and east. The William Street Pumping Street, a 
municipal water supply facility is also located immediately to the 
south of the property. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

In June 1986, construction of foundations for the Waterloo 
City Centre encountered coal tar from the former gas plant. 
Consequently, several studies have been implemented to determine the 



140 



extent of cxial tar contamination, to provide remedial measures for the 
clean-up of the site, and to assess the nature and magnitude of the 
potential environmental impacts. The studies have been funded by local 
property owners and the work has been completed by their consultants. 
To date, the on-going investigations have been extensive and 
comprehensive but it is beyond the scope of this report to provide all 
the details of these studies. The following paragraphs are a brief 
overview of the problem. 

The initial excavation for foundation construction 
encountered two buried tanks containing a black oily substance later 
confirmed to be coal tar. The liquid volume was estimated to about 
72 m'. In addition, a large volume of contaminated soil was 
associated with the buried tanks and fill material around the tanks. 
Because the tanks and contaminated soil was adjacent to Laurel Creek 
and near to municipal water wells detailed soils investigations and 
groundwater monitoring were implemented in the area of the buried tanks 
and the pumping wells to assess the potential environmental impact. 
The municipal wells were shut down as a precautionary measure. Initial 
water quality samples from the municipal wells detected trace levels of 
carcinogenic PAH but subsequent samples failed to confirm this result. 

Soil and groundwater sampling identified a zone of coal tar 
contamination in a sand and gravel seam adjacent to the buried tanks 
end Laurel Creek and extending out under Regina Street in the area of 
Herbert Street. Sediments from Laurel Creek were collected and the 
resulting analyses indicated PAH were present in relatively high 
levels. The occurence of tar in Laurel Creek was originally reported 
in the Hay 1, 1925 issue of the Intercolonial Gas Journal (p. 171). 

Studies to date indicate that a significant environmental 
impact is presently occurring as indicated by groundwater contamination 
and surface water pollution. These impacts, however, are being 
addressed by on-going studies and it is, therefore, difficult to assess 



141 



the future impact of this site. It is assumed that with MOE guidance 
the future potential for environmental impacts will be greatly 
reduced. 

Options for Further Action 

Consultants hired by the property owner and the municipality 
are presently conducting additional studies at the Waterloo site. 
Pending completion and documentation of these studies, the only action 
required is notification of the adjacent property owners and 
municipality that buried waste may be found on-site and may be 
migrating off -site. 

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment is continuing to 
monitor this site in order to ensure compliance with environmental 
regulations. 



142 

4.3.40 Windsor 

Site Description 

The Windsor Gas Co. operated a medium-sized retort coal 
gasification plant from 1871 to 1930, or for about 59 years, on the 
south side of McDougall St. opposite the southwesterly extension of old 
Brant St. Brant St. now terminates at Glengarry Ave. The site is 
presently occupied by a City of Windsor parking lot and is located in a 
residential/public use area. Land use on adjoining properties 
includes residences, parking lot, arena, restaurant, high rise 
apartment building, police garage and a hydro substation. 

The site is about 300 m south of the Detroit River which has 
recreational and industrial use in the vicinity of the site. The 
drinking water supply for the City of Windsor is derived from the 
Detroit River at a location about 4 km upstream from the site. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

No immediate environmental impacts or adverse health effects 
are preceived for this site. However, historical accounts from a 
Windsor resident indicate that gas plant wastes are likely buried at 
the site. The same resident also indicated that some waste was removed 
from site to an unknown location. The buried wastes were estimated to 
be about 50 m from the north fence and 12 m from the parking lot curb 
(on McDougall Ave.). During on-site inspections, the only evidence of 
buried waste was a faint intermittent odour of tar from the storm 
manhole located in the general area of the assumed buried waste 
identified above. From historical maps this is the general location of 
the gas plant condensers, an area where tar was removed from 
manufactured gas prior to purifying and storage. Together these 
accounts suggest that waste is buried at this site. However, because 
of the distance to surface water, the lack of groundwater use and the 



143 



lack of excavation into and development on the property, no immediate 
impacts are thought to exist at this site. However, excavation at the 
site could result in exposure of gas plant wastes and an environmental 
impact and adverse health effects. 

Options for Further Action 

For the Windsor site, the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• notify present owner and municipality that buried gas 
plant wastes may be found on-site. 

• no further actions are required at this site unless the 
site is developed at which time soil sampling to identify 
buried wastes is required. 



144 



4.3.41 Woodstock 

Site Description 

The Woodstock Gas Light Co. operated a small (0.4 hectare) 
coal gasification plant on the east side of Young Street, south of Peel 
Street from about 1876 to sometime before 1919 or about 43 years. The 
former gas plant property is now occupied by a parking lot and building 
of an automotive company, a gas metering station of Union Gas Company 
and a private vacant lot planned for townhouse development. The 
original gas manufacturing plant and gas holder was located on the 
automotive property. In 1897, the Woodstock Gas Light Co., acquired 
the property now owned by Union Gas and the property planned for 
townhouse development, end erected a larger gasometer on the property 
planned for townhouse development. Although the plant ceased operation 
sometime prior to 1913, the gasometer remained in place until at least 
1928. The gas plant site served as an automobile junk yard from about 
1919 to at least 1949. 

The site is now located in a mixed residential commerical 
area with adjoining land uses that include parking lot, lumber yard, 
railway line, townhouses and residences. The closest surface water is 
now Cedar Creek located about 750 m southwest of the site. Two small 
surface ponds once existed immediately south of the gas plant as 
evident on the 1876 and 1919 maps. In addition to the planned 
townhouse development, the City of Woodstock plans to extend Main and 
Young Streets in the area of the former gas plant. 

Potential Environmental Impact 

Late in 1986, coal tar was observed seeping into an 
excavation, on the east side of Young Street in the vicinity of the 
Union Gas property. Subsequent to this discovery a consultant waa 
retained by the City of Woodstock and the townhouse developer, to 



1A5 



assess the site. During inspections of the site, concrete rubble with 
tarry stains snd residue were observed and strong tar odours were 
noticed emanating from a sanitary sewer manhole. Also several of the 
wells installed by the consultant had tar odours indicating the 
presence of buried gas plant wastes. A large open pipe (0.35 m 
diameter) that extended 3 m into the ground was also observed to hsve 
strong odours of tar. All of these observations of tar are in the 
vicinty of the former gasometer which was located south of the main gas 
works facilities. 

Given the planned road extensions, townhouse development and 
evidence of buried waste, there is a strong potential for exposure of 
wastes and environmental iirpact at this site. Some adverse health 
effect may also be possible if excavation proceeds without 
consideration of the extent and potentially harmful effects of these 
wastes on the workers. 

Some seasonal demand for drinking water is provided by two 
wells located 600 m north of the site at Ingersoll Avenue and Huron 
Street and 900 m south at the end of Victoria Street. These wells are 
infrequently used end not thought to be within the area inpacted by the 
gas works wastes. 

Options for Further Study 

For the Woodstock site the following are considered 
appropriate options for further actions: 

• sanpling at the nearest water supply wells (Ingersoll 
Avenue and Huron Street and Victoria Street wells) and 
analysis for general water quality and PAH compounds. 



146 



Consultants have been hired by the property owners and 
studies are on-going at this site. Pending completion and 
documentation of these studies, the only additional action required is 
notification of property owners and municipality that buried wastes 
were found on-site and may be migrating off-site. 



147 



5. OTHER SITES POSSIBLY RELATED TO COAL TAR WASTES 

In addition to the "town gas" facilities identified in 
Section 4 of this report, other facilities that used coal and oil 
carbonization and that generated and handled typical gas plant wastes, 
such as PAH-rich tars and sludges are listed below. This listing is 
not complete as these other sites were not specifically researched but 
were identified coincidently in the course of searching historical 
records for "town gas" plants as part of Phase 1 of this project. 

5.1 GAS PLANTS ASSOCIATED WITH BY-PRODUCT PLANTS OF THE STEEL 
INDUSTRY 

The manufacture of steel requires the generation of coke. 
By-product coke ovens or plants, such as those of Algoma Steel 
Corporation, Steel Conpany of Canada and Dominion Foundries and Steel 
Co. carbonize coal and generate by-products of ammonia, gas and tar. 
The by-products produced are usually sold or used on-site for fuel. 

Algoma Steel Site, Sault Ste. Marie 

The Algoma Steel Corporation facility operated in Sault Ste. 
Marie and provided gas to the Great Northern Gas Co. The site remains 
on Algoma property at the south end of Goulais Avenue. 

Steel Company of Canada Site, Hamilton 

The Steel Company of Canada property located on Hamilton 
harbour, north of Burlington Street East in the area of Wilcox and 
Birmingham Streets used coke ovens and by-products plants in the 
manufacture of steel. The site continues as part of Stelco's Hamilton 
operations. 



148 



The Dominion Foundries and Steel Co. Ltd. Site, Hamilton 

The Dominion Foundries and Steel Co. Ltd. operated a battery 
of coke ovens at their property on Burlington Street East between 
Kenilworth and Depew Streets. In particular, a by-product plant 
operated on the property adjacent to Hamilton harbour and included a 
coke oven gas holder, tar tanks, gas oxide boxes and a light oil plant. 
The property continues to operate as part of Dofasco's Hamilton 
operations. 

5.2 GAS PLANTS ASSOCIATED WITH AMMONIA/FERTILIZER MANUFACTURING 

Because coal is rich in nitrogen, carbonization of coal 
releases significant amounts of nitrogen in the form of ammonia which 
is readily oxidized to nitrite end nitrate. Treatment of ammonia with 
sulphuric acid results in the precipitation of ammonium sulphate, a 
valuable raw material for fertilizer production. 

American Cyanamid Co. Site, Niagara Falls 

A coal gasification plant was identified as part of the 
fertilizer plant of American Cyanamid, Niagara Falls, Ontario. The 
plant was identified on a 1916 fire insurance plan (Public Archives 
Canada, NMC 9582, Sheet 22) with a gas house, gas holder and tar well. 
The plant likely provided gas for lighting and heating as well as raw 
materials for the manufacture of fertilizers. The site is still part 
of Cyanamid Canada's plant located off Stone Road at the north end of 
Fourth Avenue. 



149 

5.3 MANUFACTURED GAS PLANTS FOR INDUSTRIAL LIGHT AND HEAT 

Large industrial operations were often of sufficient size to 
warrant the operation of a manufactured gas plant to provide lighting 
and heating requirements. 

Ford Motor Co. Site, Walkerville (Windsor) 

The Ford Motor Co. of Canada operated a coke oven gas plant 
with gas cleaning equipment and 14,200 m^ capacity gas holding tank 
in the early 1900s. A 1924 fire insurance plan (Regional Collection, 
University of Western Ontario, Sheet 13) identifies the gas plant. The 
facility was part of the company power plant and likely provided gas 
for heating and lighting. The site was located in East Windsor on Ford 
Motor Company property, east of Belle Isle View Avenue and south of 
Riverside Avenue. The Ford Motor Company of Canada established their 
power plant on this site in 1934 and this site continues to have this 
use. The site is about 200 m south of the Detroit River. 

Preston Woolen Mill, Preston 

Possibly from 1870 to an uncertain date after 1884, Preston 
Woolen Mills, located on Eagle Street near Hedley, utilized a coal 
gasification plant to provide li^t. A separate gas house and gas 
holding tank is evident in an 1884 fire insurance plan (Public Archives 
Canada, NMC 9641). The property ia now occupied by a company engaged 
in the manufacture of plastics from powders and resins. 

5.4 WOOD PRESERVATIVE PLANTS 

Creosote and tars produced from the carbonization of coal 
were often utilized aa wood preservatives. The tars may have been 
provided from a nearby gaa plant or coke oven or manufactured on-eite 
in a small retort house. 



150 



Canada Creosoting Co. Ltd. , Sudbury 

A fire insurance plan (1942 Sheet A & 7) from the Ontario 
Archives identified the Canada Creosoting Co. plant as being located on 
the south side of Lome Street, between Dean Avenue and Bulmer Avenue. 
The facility is characterized by a retort house, boiler house and 
several creosote and tar tanks. Current land use for this site is 
commercial/residential. 

5.5 PINTSCH GAS PLANTS 

Pintsch gas plants were manufactured gas facilities that 
produced gas from pyrolysis of petroleum oils. 

North Bay, Thunder Bay 

Dominion Bureau of Statistics reports identified Pintsch gas 
plants in North Bay and Thunderbay (Fort William) for the approximate 
period 1919-1939. These facilities were likely small and appear to 
have produced gas for lifting in railway coaches. The Pintsch gas 
plants for North Bay and Thunder Bay were briefly researched through 
map sources but not specifically located. 

Toronto 

A small Pintsch gas plant was identified in Toronto on the 
grounds of the old Grand Trunk Railway at the bottom of Spadina Avenue 
south of Front Street West on the Toronto harbour. The plant is 
evident on a 1906 fire insurance plan (Public Archives Canada, NMC 
31775, Sheet 75) and was adjacent to the old Toronto Water Works. The 
plant is identified as Pintsch Compressing Co. 's Gas Plant and has a 
gas house, purifying room, gas holder and underground oil and tar 
tanks. The period of operation of this plant is uncertain, but the 
plant likely ceased operation prior to 1912. 



151 

5.6 MANUFACTURED GAS PLANTS FOR METAL REFINING 

Blue water gas may be used In the reduction and refining of 
metals, such as nickel. 

Inco Ltd. Refinery, Port Colbourne 

A small blue water gas unit was operated by Inco. Ltd. as 
part of the Port Colborne nickel refinery from 1931 to 1969. Gas was 
produced by passing steam through heated coke. The gas was consumed In 
the refining process and by-prodcts, such as tar were burned on-site. 
The former location of these facilities has been paved over and is now 
used as a controlled-access, Inco storage yard. 

5.7 TAR DISTILLATION INDUSTRIES 

Most tar produced from coal gasification after about 1890 to 
1900 had potentiaL reuse as a raw material for the tar distillation 
industry. Similarly, water gas tars had potential resale value as raw 
materials to a secondary processing Industry, such as a varnish 
company. Because tar was supplied from manufactured gas plants the 
location of such facilitiea is expected to be related in part to the 
location of former gas plants. 

Currie Products Ltd. Site, Ottawa 

A small tar distillation facility operated south of Lees 
Avenue opposite the Lees Avenue manufactured gas plant. The plant 
operated from about 1920 to sometime In the late 19A0s. A small batch 
still refined crude coal tar to lighter fraction oils and pitch. The 
property of the former distillation plant Is now occupied with a 
hlgh-rlae apartment building. Tar contamination has been identified 
beside and below this building from studies commissioned by the Ontario 
Miniatry of the Environment. 



152 



Peterson Manufacturing Ltd. Site, Toronto 

From the 1890's to 1918, Peterson Manufacturing Ltd. operated 
a tar distillation facility south of the Toronto A site on the Toronto 
harbour. The facility continued operation under the name Barrett Co. 
Ltd. from 1919 to at least 1924. A batch still with numerous surface 
storage tanks and a tarring machine building charcterize the site. 
Present land use includes a school, community centre and hic^rise 
apartment building. Contamination problems for this site are unknown. 



153 



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Dipple, A., 1976. Polynuclear aromatic carcinogens. In: Chemical 
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Environmental Research and Technologies Inc. (ERT) and Koppers Canpany 
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Environmental Resources and Technology Inc. (ERT), 1983. Recommended 
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Shear, M.3., 1938. Studies in Carcinogenesis. V. Methyl Derivatives of 
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Shear, M.3., 1941. Studies in Carcinogenesis. XVI. Production of 
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Santodonato, 3., P. Howard and D. Basu, 1981. Health and Ecological 
Assessment of Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons. 3. Environ. 
Pathol. Toxicol. (Special Issue), 5(1), pp. 1-366. 

U.S. EPA, 1980a. Ambient Water Quality Criteria for Benzene, U.S. EPA 
Report 440/5-80-18, Washington, D.C. 

U.S. EPA, 1980b. The Carcinogen Assessment Group's List of 
Carcinogens. Washington, DC.