The rehabilitation of DRDC Valcartier’s burn and demolition site—a $5.8-million project launched in 2013 in partnership with the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS)—was completed in late August 2023. Among other things, it involved the construction of an ordnance destruction site using a reactive membrane technology consisting of an amalgam of ground beef-bone charcoal and an impermeable membrane that will protect the water table from contaminants for about 100 years.

“When I joined the DCC and DND project team in 2018, I was excited at the prospect of not only taking on this colossal technological challenge, but also of contributing to the significant environmental benefits it will have for future generations,” recalls Geneviève Mayrand, Technical Specialist, Project Management at DCC.

Despite the slowdown caused by the pandemic and the various issues associated with the unique nature of the project, it came in on time and on budget, and was delivered in late August 2023. “This success wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of DCC’s Stéphane Picher, Coordinator, Environmental Services, who acted as site coordinator,” notes Geneviève. “As well, we worked collaboratively with DND who was involved with each phase to ensure the team met expectations.”

The first official destruction operation at DRDC Valcartier is scheduled for November 2023. The project team will continue to measure contamination levels on the site to assess the membrane’s effectiveness and better estimate its lifespan.

The project is already attracting interest from the military community, and in spring 2024, Valcartier will welcome a delegation of NATO scientists who will assess the feasibility of building such a facility in their respective environments. “We can’t wait to show them our filtering sand desert in the middle of the forest! I believe the success of this project is a testament to the excellence of our teams and the exceptional cooperation between DCC and the Client-Partner,” Geneviève concludes.

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