The Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) has issued a request for proposals to study potential future uses of the Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens. A $400-million plan to clean up the two sites is awaiting final approvals from the federal and provincial governments following an exhaustive public environmental review. “Over the next eight years, we will rehabilitate 100 hectares in the middle of Sydney,” said Frank Potter, acting CEO of the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency. “We think this study is a great opportunity for the community to focus on how those lands should be used.” The Sydney Tar Ponds Agency and Public Works and Government Services Canada will contribute $100,000 to the $200,000 CBRM study. CBRM, other federal landholders, and Nova Scotia Lands, a provincial real estate holding agency, are also expected to contribute to the cost. Successful cleanups of similar sites in other communities have been linked to early development of future use plans. The joint environmental review panel that reviewed the Tar Ponds Agency’s cleanup plan made several recommendations about future site use. It urged the municipality and the agency to develop a future use plan that incorporates the municipality’s proposal for the development of a corridor linking the Port of Sydney and the airport, known as the port-to-port plan. The panel said the future use plan should also reflect the public’s desire for active living spaces on the two sites, including the planting of native trees and shrubs. It urged the agency to set aside money to share the future cost of maintaining walking trails and open spaces. A draft report is due no later than six months after the contract is awarded, with the final report due a month later.