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Sydney Tar Ponds. By : Blake Billard. Introduction.

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Sydney tar ponds

Sydney Tar Ponds

By : Blake Billard


  • The Sydney tar ponds are the worst man-made disaster in North America. I know we were suppose to do a project on a natural disaster, but I personally think this is a very important topic that should be shared amongst everyone. In this project I will be talking about what the Sydney Tar Ponds are, how they happened, when they happened, Why it happened and what the government is doing too resolve this enormous disaster.

What are the sydney tar ponds
What are the Sydney Tar Ponds?

  • The Sydney Tar Ponds are a hazardous waste site on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. Located on the eastern shore of Sydney Harbour in the city of Sydney. The Tar Ponds form a tidal estuary at the mouth of Muggah Creek, a freshwater stream that empty’s into the Sydney Harbour. Over the last century, runoff from coke ovens filled the estuary with different types of coal-based contaminants and sludge.

How they happened
How They Happened?

  • The Sydney Tar Ponds were caused by a company called SYSCO (Sydney Steel Corporation) back in the early 1900’s. What happened was that SYSCO was dumping their left-over steel Affluent and Coal-Related substances from the coke ovens into these ponds . The reason why SYSCO was doing this is because they didn't think it would harm the ponds, but unfortunately it did.

What is the government doing about it
What Is The Government Doing About it?

  • The government of Canada has started a $400 million CAD clean up plan. The government of Canada is thinking of idea’s of how they can remove these dangerous toxins without harming any citizens, workers or even more damage the surrounding environment. They say that the clean up may not be complete until 2015. Also after the clean up is finished they are hoping to be creating a sports park for the children in the area.

Why did it happen
Why Did It Happen?

The reason why The Sydney Tar Ponds happened was because at the time there was no government regulations regarding the environment and disposal of toxic substances. The industry was a major employer in Cape Breton at the time and it was easy to ignore the damages being caused to the environment.


  • My Grandfather use to work for SYSCO ( The company who caused the Sydney Tar Ponds )

    Most hazardous waste site in North America.

    Contains more than 700 000 tons of contaminated sediments.

    The rate of different types of cancers went up by a whooping 50 percent in places near the tar ponds.


I got all my information from the websites below: