Environment Minister announces new PCB policy in Pointe Claire

PCBs at Reliance Power to be finally removed

By Kevin Woodhouse

The government has decided to ramp up safety protocols concerning companies that store PCBs on their property by sending out inspectors to verify sites’ of current and former storage facilities. The announcement was made by Environment Minister Yves-François Blanchet in Pointe Claire recently, a city all too well aware of the consequences of illegally and improperly stored chemicals following a large spill from a leak at Reliance Power Equipment.

The company, based in Pointe Claire’s industrial park, that caused the intensive cleanup has since gone out of business with a cleanup up cost said to be in excess of three million dollars and scheduled to have been completed by Christmas Day.

Pointe Claire Mayor Morris Trudeau and city council commended the minister for his initiative as well as the government’s efforts “into making it much more difficult for negligent companies to store hazardous materials illegally.

“If the alarming situation we experienced here this past summer has resulted in the implementation of a new inspection and control program that will protect the health and ensure the safety of our citizens, not only in Pointe Claire, but everywhere in Quebec, we are obviously very happy about that,” Trudeau said.

“We were very fortunate, because this could easily have turned into a catastrophic situation, given that polychlorinated biphenyls had been illegally stored on the site for many years, and we are satisfied that the Quebec government is taking action to prevent the recurrence of serious irregularities of this type in the future,” noted the mayor.

Once the illegal chemicals have been safely removed from the site, clean up will continue with the idea of giving the soiled area a second chance through a soil characterization “of the entire property, and a rehabilitation plan for the site is currently being developed. Soil characterization could start in the spring, following which appropriate measures to rehabilitate the site in its entirety will be undertaken,” the city explained via press release following the minister’s visit.
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