Where is it?
- In the Marwell Industrial Area of Whitehorse.
- Less than 500 metres from Two Mile Hill, at the foot of the Takhini East bluffs.
- The Marwell tar pit site is fenced off and has posted signs.
History of the Marwell Tar Pit remediation project
- Part of a crude oil refinery that operated for less than 1 year before closing in March 1945.
- When the refinery was dismantled, sludge from the refinery tank bottoms ended up in the pit of a dismantled storage tank.
- The deposits were covered with locally-sourced soils.
- Declared a "Designated Contaminated Site" in 1998 under the Environment Act.
- In June 2010, the governments of Canada and Yukon agreed to jointly fund the remediation of the Marwell Tar Pit.
- Excavation began in May 2018 and is expected to continue into December 2019.
- The contaminated soil is segregated and treated on site using Enhanced Thermal Conduction.
- This process heats the soil and vaporizes the contamination.
- Vapours are then captured and destroyed through “burning” that meets air quality standards.
- CO2 and water vapour remains.
- The remediated soil is then used to backfill the excavation.
- On-site treatment of soil is not expected to cause public health concerns.
- This method of remediation has been used elsewhere for decades, but this is only the second time it has been used in Yukon.
- Project started in 2011 with assessment work.
- This determined the extent and types of contamination.
- Contract for remediation work awarded in February.
- Construction work began in May.
- Excavation and remediation began in July.
- Excavation and remediation paused for January through mid-March.
- Excavation and remediation is expected to continue until December.
- Monitoring will continue in the years following the project's completion.
For questions about government-owned contaminated sites, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 867-667-5683, or toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408.