Comment 60944

By Fred Street (anonymous) | Posted March 14, 2011 at 09:09:34 in reply to Comment 60937

There may be a legal distinction between 19th century Hamilton Steel and Iron Company and 20th century Stelco – and, for that matter, between 20th century Stelco and 21st century U.S. Steel. And while it's true that U.S. Steel has has very deep pockets, they are also an American holding and I suspect they could use that chest to wage a protracted defense using NAFTA Chapter 11, the upshot of which would another decade without a solution (and possibly a cash prize for U.S. Steel at the end of it all). On top of which, Randle Reef was identified as a huge toxic liability 22 years ago, and in all of that time, nobody has gone after the steel industry in any real way. Does that impact our chances of a successful resolution in the courts? I haven't the legal knowledge to begin to answer that, but it strikes me as a possible problem.

Unspoken in all of this, of course, is that most of the industry north of Burlington Street is built on reclaimed land, which opens up huge unknowns in terms of remediation. Industry filled in about a third of the bay, and that work was done during a far less enlightened era. It's anyone's guess as to how many Randle Reefs will eventually be found underground.

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