An automobile recycler in Rouge Park won’t have to remove soil from its property from which fuel was discovered leaking into the adjacent Rouge River creek in November of 2010.
Ontario’s environment ministry chose to leave the soil in place “since the materials will biodegrade over time” and because the recycler, Standard Auto Wreckers, is now required to contain and remove stormwater from the Scarborough property and to stop runoff to the creek, said Kate Jordan, a ministry spokesperson.
It was also thought removing the soil would damage the creek and its floodplain, Jordan added.
The province’s Environmental Review Tribunal last June found “motor vehicle fluids” seeping into the creek, a tributary of the Little Rouge River, appeared to come from a structure in which Standard Auto removed parts from vehicles.
The ministry agreed to change a clean-up order issued after the spill so “the question whether there has been a breach (of the law) would not arise.”
Parent company Goldy Metals agreed to remove the structure as well as to “risk management measures” to prevent another accident and “delineation and remediation of the petroleum spill” on and off the property.
Jordan said an ecological risk assessment found hydrocarbons in a small area near the creek. The ministry finished reviewing the assessment late last year and sent its conclusions to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, interim manager of the park, which supports them, she said.
The ministry will continue to monitor Standard Auto’s operations and will meet company executives in the coming weeks to discuss next steps, Jordan said. “Our priority is that the company’s operations do not impact the environment and any potential impacts are addressed and studied.”
Before it was disbanded last year, the Rouge Alliance, a co-operative of agencies and governments which ran the park, had called on the province to talk to Standard Auto about purchasing the property south of Steeles Avenue at Sewells Road and relocating the business.