Sears Plume Independent Review Results


In the 1990s Sears shut down a gas station at its North Hill Mall location upon discovery of a gasoline leak. It is believed that gasoline had been seeping into the ground for at least 20 years prior to its detection, spilling large quantities under surrounding neighbourhoods. The gasoline seepage is referred to as a plume, hence the term Sears plume. As a result of the discovered leak, the province was advised, and Sears was found accountable. Sears hired Clifton Associates to undertake initial cleanup and monitor. Since that time, Clifton has continued to monitor and report on the site using more than 100 wells that have been set up throughout the community. Reports are available on the HH-BH website ( under Committees and Projects à Sears Plume. The HH-BH has also continued to support, track and monitor the issue by: creating a Sears Plume board position; keeping the issue a standing item on the monthly meeting agenda; ongoing communication with Sears and Clifton; a dedicated section on the HH-BH website that is regularly updated; and repeated attempts to highlight issues with government and the opposition.

Current Status

In December 2017, Hounsfield Heights residents received a letter from Sears (also posted on our website under Sears Plume) stating that due to their current creditor protection status, they are no longer able to continue funding the monitoring and remediation of the plume. Sears also advised in the letter that homeowners may be entitled to make a claim if they can prove monetary damages. Additional information regarding the claims procedure is available at http:// Going forward, the HH-BH Community Association Board of Directors has agreed to help fund the cost of an independent environmental firm to review the situation and advise. Jeff Allan, board president of the HH-BH communi- Jeff Allan, board president of the HH-BH community association, is working with residents, the government, and other interested parties to determine next steps. Alberta Environment and Parks implemented a Soil Vapour Monitoring Program to assess risk to human health within the HH-BH community. The summer and winter 2017 samples collected continue to indicate there is no risk to human health from the soil vapours. In a letter from Shannon Phillips, Alberta Minister of Environment and Parks, she states that data to date indicates there is negligible risk to human health; a new pilot remediation study was initiated by the Alberta government in 2017; and discussions are currently underway with her government’s environmental law group to determine potential direction in light of Sears’ current circumstances. We will continue to post updates on the HH-BH website and in upcoming issues of The Beacon as information becomes available. Residents are invited to forward any questions to the HH-BH Sears plume director at or attend an upcoming community association board meeting. Meetings are held every second Thursday of the month from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the HH-BH Community Centre located at 1922 14 Ave NW.

Independent Review Results

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