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Minimizing Risk by Understanding Your Environment: or “Why Use STA® (Sediment Trend Analysis)?” – A Case Study from the Lac Saint Pierre Experimental Firing Range, Quebec
MIREMAR - Conference
Patrick McLaren, GeoSea Consulting (Canada) Ltd.
UXO and contaminants, including ordnance compounds, are inextricably linked to their surrounding sediments. Processes affecting sediment transport may bury or expose UXO. The fate of associated contaminants is entirely dependent on natural behaviour of the sediments. Remediation decisions made without knowledge of how the environment is actually working substantially increase the risk of unnecessary and costly mistakes as well as potentially furthering environmental damage. Understanding sediment transport is complex. The technique of STA® (Sediment Trend Analysis) uses the only data that have undisputedly integrated all processes responsible for their transport and deposition – the sediments themselves. Furthermore the results are self-validating, easily understood, and entirely defensible.
STA® was applied to the sediments of Lac Saint Pierre, a former experimental firing range in the St. Lawrence River. The lake is thought to contain about 8,000 unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO). Furthermore, the lake itself is potentially the recipient of other contaminants associated with industrial wastes and agricultural runoff. The STA® provided answers to fundamental questions such as: Are sediments inside the firing range contaminated due to military activities? (No); Will UXO clearance activities (blow-in-place or dredging) negatively affect the physical environment? (No), and; will shells and associated UXO materials accumulate at preferred locations? (Yes)
GeoSea Consulting (Canada) Ltd.
SedTrend Analysis Ltd.
7236 Peden Lane
BC Canada V8M 1C5