No Debris Left Behind, No Sturgeon Left Un-SpawnedCanadian Contractor
Edmonton residents near the 700-unit Edgewater Village condominium construction site near Dawson Park are celebrating their campaign to protect sturgeons that might potentially one day spawn in nearby rivers. Fearing contamination by the legendary fish-killing substance ‘Styrofoam’ (aka ‘Strontium 90’), fine pieces of which have allegedly flown through the air from the construction site, a dozen or more intrepid volunteers took time away from looking through each other’s windows to set out in packs to gather whatever debris they could find. They spent up to four (4) hours between re-runs of Canada’s Got Talent combing the grasses for the smallest bits of anything that might cause amorous sturgeon to lose their spawning ‘focus’, harm future fish eggs, or potentially lodge in the entrance of an unsuspecting anthill, imprisoning hundreds if not thousands of ant families for goodness knows how long.
The City responded to the citizen cries of outrage, and sent bylaw enforcement Storm Troopers to the scene to determine the extent of this genocide-in-the-making. What they found was shocking. According to Troy Courtoreille, coordinator of the enforcement militia “Materials, debris and leftover construction materials were just kind of being left out in the open, not well-contained or covered up, which is typically the standard we expect to see at new construction sites. It’s kind of everywhere.”
Local resident Eric Gormely claimed it was much, much worse than that. “There were strips that looked like (gulp) wrapping paper” in addition to Styrofoam. Nothing escaped Gormely’s extraordinary eye sight or concern. “The thing I noticed most was the really fine stuff.”
The long term risks for the sanctity of the park area would send shivers up the spine of any self-respecting environmental fear monger, given that the half-life of Styrofoam is estimated to be about 100 million light years, or roughly the distance in minutes between earth and planet Pluto. Gormley, his wife Raquel Feroe, and their neighborhood friends were unmoved by the fact that recent high ‘tunnel winds’ and storms had played havoc around the site, making it hard for the 250 construction tradespeople to control their coffee cups, let alone other light-as-air fragments. “It’s one of those things we try very hard to control,” said Raj Dhunna, head of operations at Regency Developments.
After a warning was issued, followed by a notice of violation, the contractor was compelled to sheath the entire twin tower project in a net-like prophylactic, green in colour so as to not to visually conflict with the area’s trees, to contain any indiscriminate excretion of ‘stuff’.
Commander Courtoreille has since conscripted 5 more enforcement commandos, and promises to dispatch his shock troops back to Edgewater Village weekly or bi-weekly (the element of surprise is a tactic his department keeps behind their riot shields) as well as to other sites around the City, to ensure that Edmonton’s environment is protected from any nefarious but unspecified contaminants. They will also use the Edgewater Village as an episodic scare tactic to promote increased sensitivity and awareness within the construction industry.
(with files from the Edmonton Journal)