The tender release to solidify and stabilize the Sydney Tar Ponds is fast approaching. The Sydney Tar Ponds Agency issued the pre-notification of the multi-million dollar tender to encourage interested parties from North America and Europe to familiarize themselves with requirements of working on the contaminated sites, as well as the agreements and programs that govern the project. “This gives interested parties ample time to learn as much as possible about the unique approaches implemented by the agency to drive local economic benefits, support employment equity, and to experience the level of community engagement necessary with a remediation project located at the centre of an urban community,” said Roger Larkin, agency project director. “This cleanup uses proven technology, but has an oversight program unique to general contracting. This gives interested contractors time for the kind of orientation needed to prepare a competitive bid.” It is expected that the agency will release the tender by November. About 700,000 tonnes of sediment will be solidified and stabilized within the shorelines of the north and south tar ponds. Also, a new channel will be constructed to manage surface water from two brooks that feed into the tar ponds, which is also a tidal estuary at the mouth of Sydney Harbour. Pilot-scale work on both tar ponds has begun. The exercise is to prove to regulators that selected recipes effectively treat sediment in both ponds and meet the agreed requirements for permeability, leachability, and unconfined strength. As part of the upcoming tender, contractors will be required to perform similar tests on tar ponds sediment. Once regulators approve, full-scale treatment can begin. The first phase is a pump-around system to keep water flows out of construction areas. The next phase is full-scale implementation of solidification/stabilization of the ponds. The third phase includes capping the solidified mass and building a new bridge on Ferry Street. The government of Canada and the province of Nova Scotia signed a memorandum of agreement on May 12, 2004, committing to jointly participate in the remediation of the Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens sites. It is a $400-million agreement that specifies that the cleanup be completed by 2014.