Remediation to get underway at Marwell Tar Pit

The Government of Yukon is preparing for the next phase of the remediation at the Marwell Tar Pit site in Whitehorse – which will begin this year.

The seasonally dependent work will include site preparation, excavation of contaminated soils, segregation of impacted soils and on-site treatment of contaminated soil.

This is the second of three phases of addressing contamination at the site. The whole project is expected to take more than a decade to complete with monitoring for years to come.

This project highlights our work together with our federal and First Nation partners. Together we are working to clean up our land from a time when we knew much less about contamination and hazardous substances. By working together, we can make sure we leave this land in a better condition than we found it.

Minister of Environment Pauline Frost

Quick facts 
  • This year, $4.6 million has been committed to this project of which the federal government has contributed 70 per cent.

  • On-site treatment of soil will go through a process called enhanced thermal conduction– which is when the soil is heated – causing the contamination to vapourize. The vapours are captured and burned off to meet air quality standards before the air is released.

  • Remediation of the Marwell site began with assessment work in 2010–11.

  • The site became contaminated during the Second World War, when an oil refinery was built in the area to process crude oil brought by the Canol Pipeline from Norman Wells, NWT. The refinery operated for less than one year before closing in March 1945.

Media contact 

Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications

Erin Loxam
Communications, Environment

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