Worker worried about Janeway cleanup

Rob Antle
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Cites old fuel tanks as a problem, pans perceived lack of government action

A worker at the former Janeway hospital site is expressing concern about the presence of old fuel tanks there, and what he contends is a lack of government action to address the problem.

"I don't think the government is going to clean it up proper," Ken Fagan told The Telegram at the entrance to the old Janeway site late Monday afternoon.

Top photo, Kelloway Construction employee Ken Fagan, who is working on the demolition of the former Janeway Children's Hospital site in Pleasantville, expressed his concerns to The Telegram Monday afternoon about old fuel tanks there, and what he contends

A worker at the former Janeway hospital site is expressing concern about the presence of old fuel tanks there, and what he contends is a lack of government action to address the problem.

"I don't think the government is going to clean it up proper," Ken Fagan told The Telegram at the entrance to the old Janeway site late Monday afternoon.

"(It's) another time that bureaucrats, or whoever is doing it, are just going to bury up their problem and just let it go."

Fagan said he's been working at the old Janeway for Kelloway Construction over the past three months.

He said there is a dispute between his employer and the government about whether the Pleasantville site is contaminated by fuel.

Fagan said there are two old rusty fuel tanks on the site - one visible, one buried. The visible one is a massive 10,000-gallon tank, he noted.

"I can go up and stick the bucket in the ground there and it comes up just like the tar sands in Alberta - full of oil."

The fuel is creating medical concerns, he said.

"I'm having major headaches, and starting to get a bad cough," Fagan noted. "I know it's from fuel. I know it's from the smell of the oil. You get that old dirty fuel smell, not like a clean fuel. It's that old musty dirty fuel smell. It's really hard on the eyes, and hard on the head."

Fagan called The Telegram Monday to air his concerns. He said he has no problem with his employer, who has been "100 per cent excellent" and provided proper respirators and protective equipment.

Fagan said his employer did not ask him to speak out, but he is worried the problem is not being dealt with correctly.

Meanwhile, the Department of Government Services has not heard any complaints of this nature from workers, according to spokeswoman Vanessa Colman-Sadd.

Colman-Sadd said the department was sending an occupational health and safety officer to the site Monday.

This is not the first time potential environmental concerns have been raised about the old Janeway location.

Earlier this month, The Telegram revealed that the province hired an environmental consultant to test for hazardous materials there after the former hospital was demolished.

Any hazardous materials were supposed to be removed before demolition.

The government won't release the results of that environmental report, saying only that it would be "premature" to do so.

At the time, the government highlighted "the appearance of what could possibly be asbestos" as a concern.

Fagan, meanwhile, said he has seen little at the site to concern him regarding asbestos.

In December 2007, the province awarded Kelloway Construction a $924,129 contract for the environmental remediation and demolition of the former Janeway hospital building. Demolition work began in 2008. Large piles of rubble remain, and the half dozen workers at the location Monday wore white protective coveralls.

Two years ago, the province announced the hiring of a real-estate broker to sell off former Janeway properties sandwiched between Virginia Park and Pleasantville, but pulled them off the market last year.

Officials indicated last month the government now has "a number of major infrastructure projects under consideration" for the site, and is pondering its options.

rantle@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Janeway hospital, Kelloway Construction, Government Services

Geographic location: Pleasantville, Alberta, Virginia Park

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Reality Check
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I wonder if Mr. Oliver realizes that the actual tender to start cleaning up this site was awarded by the government he or she hates so much? Nearly a million dollars, it seems. Is this not worth a brief moment of your attention as well? Also, I noticed you didn't make any suggestions to remedy the issue? What gives? Have you considered any other environmental issues presently being undertaken?? Anything?? Reality is, the site is being cleaned up, an occupational health inspector visited Monday, and there are no complaints on file. I can't help but wonder why the complaints aren't pouring in from the workers or the foreman.

  • whistle blower
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    Sources are saying that the new super correctional facility is in the works for the area and will include a new court ,lockup,remand centre and womens and mens correctional pods as well as a federal super max area

  • j
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    what would happen if YOU had an oil spill on your property and how long before govt officials were in and made sure it was cleaned up?

  • C Oliver
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Lack of Government action ummm. Nothing new there thats what this government does best. NOTHING.But they are so good at it thats why they are so popular with the likes of the Reality Check the leader of Dannys cult followers. A B C D

  • randy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    This is the same government that forced seniors and others,to replace perfectly good oil tanks.at great cost,or risk getting no oil ,to heat their homes.I heard the new mouth piece.Susan Sullivan on the news talking about how the health of workers matters so much,,What a joke she is becomeing

  • Matt
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    When the Janeway was demolished without first removing the asbestos, it can mean only one thing, that whole neighborhood is covered with these tiny microscopic fibres that stick to the inside of your lungs. The government are hoping the rains and winds of April will disperse it. This is a serious environmental disaster at the old Janeway...wait till they find what the Americans left behind in Pleasantville.

  • Driver
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I agree with Mike from Mount Pearl. Though it seems that maybe the contractors want to use the oil problem to divert attention from the bigger problem which is the asbestos. Anyone thinking about purchasing a nice new condo in Pleasantville might want to read the book Dedending the Indefensible before making their decision. The book chronicles the horrific effects of the asbestos and the havoc wreakied by the asbestos industry.

  • IKnows
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    This is a load if i ever heard it. Has anyone even verified this garbage? I knows'. Kelloway has to clean up the asbestos that he missed now. So what better way to get some funding? You can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink. Has anyone even asked if this fagan fella is trained to identify asbestos? or Oil for that matter? Also use of the word Government is pretty broad? Who's gonna step up to bat here? Im not paying my tax dollars for this


    Also i want to see this report. Government are quick to release something when looks all nice a clean. This report is dirty i bet...I Knows'

  • Departing
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    The state of occupational health, safety and environmental issues in this province is a joke from what I have observed. Active construction sites have little to no preventative control measures in place to effectively ensure not only the safety of the workforce, but to ensure environmental controls are properly in place. It is no wonder I now am looking to leave this province to obtain employment in a more progressive location. When employers and government tend to sweep things under the table to appear to be in compliance we all lose.

    My suggestion to these workers is to document everything. Take photos of situations and conditions that you find are a concern. You never can tell when they will come in handy in court action later on. Look out for yourself, safety begins and ends with the workforce. Your employers and government have shown that they are not going to protect you, and you need to do it for yourself.

    Good Luck, and Play Safe.

    ALARP = As Low As Reasonably Practical, or as low as accounting departments are willing to spend and make it look like they are proactive?

  • Hillary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I hope there are serial numbers on those tanks and that they are legally registered to their rightfull owners, so that legal action can be initiated upon them, as it applies to all the homeowners across this province who were forced to comply with these news regulations a few years back (at great expense to many of them).

    Either enforce the regulations here or scrap the whole idea and refund all those owners who were forced to buy new oil tanks. Let's have a fair playing field.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    One environmental problem at a time...first, lets get rid of the asbestos that appears to have been left in the building...and now in the ground...before we proceed to the oil cleanup! Its great that the contractor provided a worker with coveralls and respirators...what about the local residents...did they get them too?

  • DeeBee
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Hmm, something else the government wants to cover up and hope it goes away. Sorry, b'ys... you're going to have to throw some taxpayers' money at this one and ensure the oil and any asbestos is cleaned up properly so people don't get sick and sue you for more. I don't understand why the gov't is concerned about cutting costs on something like this. Yet, they'll turn around and approve funding for the most ludicrous things without batting an eye. Frickin' politicians... send YOUR relatives in to clean it up if it's not as bad as you're making it out to be. And the Department hasn't received any complaints?!? Doesn't anyone in gov't read the newspaper or watch the news anymore? Besides election night, I mean...

  • Reality Check
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    I wonder if Mr. Oliver realizes that the actual tender to start cleaning up this site was awarded by the government he or she hates so much? Nearly a million dollars, it seems. Is this not worth a brief moment of your attention as well? Also, I noticed you didn't make any suggestions to remedy the issue? What gives? Have you considered any other environmental issues presently being undertaken?? Anything?? Reality is, the site is being cleaned up, an occupational health inspector visited Monday, and there are no complaints on file. I can't help but wonder why the complaints aren't pouring in from the workers or the foreman.

  • whistle blower
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    Sources are saying that the new super correctional facility is in the works for the area and will include a new court ,lockup,remand centre and womens and mens correctional pods as well as a federal super max area

  • j
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    what would happen if YOU had an oil spill on your property and how long before govt officials were in and made sure it was cleaned up?

  • C Oliver
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Lack of Government action ummm. Nothing new there thats what this government does best. NOTHING.But they are so good at it thats why they are so popular with the likes of the Reality Check the leader of Dannys cult followers. A B C D

  • randy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    This is the same government that forced seniors and others,to replace perfectly good oil tanks.at great cost,or risk getting no oil ,to heat their homes.I heard the new mouth piece.Susan Sullivan on the news talking about how the health of workers matters so much,,What a joke she is becomeing

  • Matt
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    When the Janeway was demolished without first removing the asbestos, it can mean only one thing, that whole neighborhood is covered with these tiny microscopic fibres that stick to the inside of your lungs. The government are hoping the rains and winds of April will disperse it. This is a serious environmental disaster at the old Janeway...wait till they find what the Americans left behind in Pleasantville.

  • Driver
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    I agree with Mike from Mount Pearl. Though it seems that maybe the contractors want to use the oil problem to divert attention from the bigger problem which is the asbestos. Anyone thinking about purchasing a nice new condo in Pleasantville might want to read the book Dedending the Indefensible before making their decision. The book chronicles the horrific effects of the asbestos and the havoc wreakied by the asbestos industry.

  • IKnows
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    This is a load if i ever heard it. Has anyone even verified this garbage? I knows'. Kelloway has to clean up the asbestos that he missed now. So what better way to get some funding? You can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink. Has anyone even asked if this fagan fella is trained to identify asbestos? or Oil for that matter? Also use of the word Government is pretty broad? Who's gonna step up to bat here? Im not paying my tax dollars for this


    Also i want to see this report. Government are quick to release something when looks all nice a clean. This report is dirty i bet...I Knows'

  • Departing
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    The state of occupational health, safety and environmental issues in this province is a joke from what I have observed. Active construction sites have little to no preventative control measures in place to effectively ensure not only the safety of the workforce, but to ensure environmental controls are properly in place. It is no wonder I now am looking to leave this province to obtain employment in a more progressive location. When employers and government tend to sweep things under the table to appear to be in compliance we all lose.

    My suggestion to these workers is to document everything. Take photos of situations and conditions that you find are a concern. You never can tell when they will come in handy in court action later on. Look out for yourself, safety begins and ends with the workforce. Your employers and government have shown that they are not going to protect you, and you need to do it for yourself.

    Good Luck, and Play Safe.

    ALARP = As Low As Reasonably Practical, or as low as accounting departments are willing to spend and make it look like they are proactive?

  • Hillary
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I hope there are serial numbers on those tanks and that they are legally registered to their rightfull owners, so that legal action can be initiated upon them, as it applies to all the homeowners across this province who were forced to comply with these news regulations a few years back (at great expense to many of them).

    Either enforce the regulations here or scrap the whole idea and refund all those owners who were forced to buy new oil tanks. Let's have a fair playing field.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    One environmental problem at a time...first, lets get rid of the asbestos that appears to have been left in the building...and now in the ground...before we proceed to the oil cleanup! Its great that the contractor provided a worker with coveralls and respirators...what about the local residents...did they get them too?

  • DeeBee
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Hmm, something else the government wants to cover up and hope it goes away. Sorry, b'ys... you're going to have to throw some taxpayers' money at this one and ensure the oil and any asbestos is cleaned up properly so people don't get sick and sue you for more. I don't understand why the gov't is concerned about cutting costs on something like this. Yet, they'll turn around and approve funding for the most ludicrous things without batting an eye. Frickin' politicians... send YOUR relatives in to clean it up if it's not as bad as you're making it out to be. And the Department hasn't received any complaints?!? Doesn't anyone in gov't read the newspaper or watch the news anymore? Besides election night, I mean...