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Sportsplex pond clean-up costs County over $180k

The County of Grande Prairie will be on the hook for $184,000 as part of the cleanup and remediation of the County Sportsplex Pond.

As part of its investigation, Alberta Environment and Parks deemed the five cubic metre release of hydrocarbons intentional, and despite not coming closer to getting an answer on the party responsible, the county still spent significant resources on management and clean up of the spill.

“We believe it was an intentional release, so someone released hydrocarbons that made its way into our storm pond, so it’s very frustrating in terms of the environmental cost,” says Community Services Director Dan Lemieux.

The pond was closed for nearly 2 months in 2019 after officials say industrial oil dumped down a curbside drain at 85 Avenue and 105 Street in Clairmont.

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During the cleanup effort, county crews worked with Alberta Environment and Parks, government officials and provincial fisheries specialists to make sure no animals were harmed.

Lemieux says the county now has a standard operating procedure in case something like this ever happens again.

“We can’t prevent people from dumping, but when we are made aware we need to have a quick response. The quicker the response, the quicker you can start remediation and the lower the cost.”

The Sportsplex Pond acts as a stormwater overflow but is also a fully stocked fishing pond for use by the public.

With files from Emma Mason

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