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NEWS RELEASE · 1st April 2010
M. of Agriculture & Lands
The third Biennial Crown Land Restoration Program Report released today demonstrates that B.C. continues to lead by example by remediating and restoring Crown contaminated sites, announced Agriculture and Lands Minister Steve Thomson.

"Since 2001, the Province has committed more than $229 million to identify and clean up contaminated sites on Crown land in B.C., leading the way through our innovative programs," said Thomson. "The Government of B.C. will continue the work to ensure the land under our care can be as productive and healthy as possible."

The Crown Contaminated Sites Program, which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, was established in 2003 by the provincial government to provide a clear and co-ordinated plan to manage contaminated sites on Crown land. A total of 72 sites have been investigated since the inception of the program and 10 sites have been completely remediated.

This year the Province will investigate five more priority sites, bringing the total number of sites to 77. Currently 18 sites are classified as priority contaminated sites warranting further study and investigation. One of the recently completed and largest projects undertaken is the Yankee Girl Mine tailings project in Ymir.

"The historic Yankee Girl Mine produced tailings that ended up on the banks of the Salmo River, spreading over a two-hectare area and creating a potential health hazard for the community," said Hans Cunningham, director, Regional District of Central Kootenay. "Today, after five years of remediation work by the Province, the site has been remediated and in its place is a safe, green gathering place, with enhanced fisheries habitat, to be enjoyed by all."

Building on the expertise developed over past years remediating Crown land, the Province launched the B.C. Brownfield Renewal Strategy to address sites on private and Crown land. Brownfields are defined as 'abandoned, vacant, derelict or underutilized commercial or industrial properties where past actions have resulted in actual or perceived contamination and where there is active potential for redevelopment'.

Under the strategy, the Province will lead by example by bringing Crown brownfield lands back into productive use and will develop approaches to build capacity and awareness of redevelopment opportunities on private lands.

To view an electronic version of the Crown Land Restoration Program Biennial Report 2010, visit
http://www.al.gov.bc.ca/clad/ccs/cabinet/reports/10_CLRB_Biennial_Report.pdf