SHAUNAVON - The Ministry of Environment has announced the first successful applicant for funding through the Impacted Sites Fund.
The Town of Shaunavon will receive $36,800 in funding to address petroleum hydrocarbon impacts associated with a previous occupancy at that location.
"We know that contaminated sites can pose a risk to the health of the environment as well as the health of the people of Saskatchewan," Environment Minister Dana Skoropad said. "It's great news that we can assist Shaunavon cleaning up this piece of land and help them recover some of the costs they've faced since acquiring the property."
Contamination was discovered at an abandoned property the Town of Shaunavon acquired in tax arrears in 2022. This funding will allow the town to determine the extent and magnitude of the impacts, so it can sell the property and recover the unpaid tax losses and other expenses already incurred.
"We are honoured to work with the Ministry of Environment to clean up our town and mitigate this environmental hazard properly," said Shaunavon Mayor Kyle Bennett. "When the building was declared a public safety hazard and deemed as dilapidated, the town, through an order to remedy, proceeded to clean up the site as soon as possible.
“During the site clean-up, a contractor detected the presence of potential soil contamination by noticing a strong petroleum scent. Soil samples were collected and sent off for analysis. Our fear became reality when the samples showed hydrocarbon contamination.
“We have received funding from the Impacted Sites Fund to assist with the Phase 1 and 2 environmental site assessment to determine the extent of contamination on this property and will be applying for further grant funding to assist with the full cleanup of this site, if necessary."
The Impacted Sites Fund was established to provide municipalities with financial support to address orphaned environmentally impacted sites, creating economic and social development opportunities. The program is funded from fines collected when an infraction occurs under The Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010.
As fines are collected, additional funding will be available for municipalities through the Impacted Sites Fund.