The Joint Action Group (JAG)
Late in 1996, local citizens and the federal, provincial, and municipal governments formed JAG.
JAG's mandate was to seek consensus on safe, technically-sound cleanup solutions. Its members asked government to expand the proposed cleanup area, conduct thorough site assessments following national guidelines, and begin preliminary cleanup projects.
JAG also asked for research to determine health impacts associated with the sites. That research showed that Sydney is a safe place to live and raise a family.
JAG members put in more than 100,000 volunteer hours in 950 public meetings over seven-and-a-half years.
In February 2003, technical experts presented JAG with a short-list of safe, effective cleanup options. JAG led an intense public review of that report. More than 1,700 residents took part in workshops to consider the options in detail.
The results provided a cross-section of views on how best to clean up the Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens, but no clear consensus. JAG considered the community response and on May 28, 2003, urged governments to use removal and destruction technologies in the cleanup.
In 2004, Canada and Nova Scotia commit $400 million to cleanup plan. Sydney Tar Ponds Agency will manage cleanup. Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) takes over from Environment Canada as federal lead department. Province files detailed Project Description.
Contact the Joint Action Group:
c/o Francis Sirois
510 Purves Street
North Sydney, NS B2A 1E2
Phone: (902) 794-9891