THE DEMOCRATIC REPORTER
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Toronto Star - June 28, 2007, 4:30 am - By Bill Taylor, Feature Writer
Weather delays demolition of plant
As what was once the world's biggest coal-fired power station waits to be cleansed of its polluting sins, there are fears about what may rise from the ashes.
Lakeview Generating Station in Port Credit, which closed in 2005 after 43 years in operation, was a filth-spewing monster, say its neighbours. The plant's destruction by implosion was postponed yesterday for the second time this week because the wind would have blown "nuisance dust" toward the community instead of out over the lake. Murray Demolition planned to try again this morning to bring down the 32,000-square-metre building.
The demolition was originally set for Monday but a north or northwesterly wind of at least 10 km/h is needed. Murray has its own small weather station on-site to monitor conditions, said vice-president Dave Fusek
Several dozen people, including former employees, gathered at McMillan Headland Park yesterday to watch. Ontario Power Generation laid on coffee, juice and doughnuts.
Lakeview Ratepayers Association members handed out leaflets saying that a gas-fired power station may be built on the site and asking that a health study be done first.
"OPG (100 per cent owned by the province) and Enersource (90 per cent owned by the City of Mississauga) have a memorandum of agreement to explore the possibility," the leaflet said. "The Clarkson Airshed Study by the Ontario Ministry of Environment, made public on Nov. 29, 2006, clearly shows south Mississauga is already a stressed airshed. Each pollutant studied regularly exceeded provincial standards.
"Natural-gas facilities emit nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide (a major source of greenhouse gas), particulate matter and volatile organic chemicals."
OPG spokesperson Bill McKinlay said the land remains zoned for "industrial or other use" but no decisions have been made. An OPG news release said it "will be suitable for industrial or power generation development when ... site remediation has been completed."
In its 1970s heyday, the plant had eight generating units. Scott Keltke, 44, has lived nearby for most of his life. "It was stinky and dirty," he said. "In winter, there'd be coal dust all over the first snow. At the end of summer, there'd be a ring of tar around my swimming pool."
His 12-year-old son, Tristan, developed asthma, Keltke said. "He hasn't needed to use his respirator since the plant closed."
Len Parrington worked at Lakeview for 10 years. He drove from Scarborough.
"It's sad but I wanted to see the end," he said. "It was an old station but it wasn't all that dirty. Whenever there was a smog day, people tried to blame us."
The building was shrouded in brown haze as Environment Canada issued a smog warning and OPG urged people to turn down their air conditioners to conserve power.
Fusek said it will take the rest of the year to clear the site. "As part of a green initiative, it all has to be recycled ..."
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