Characterization of PCB soaked industrial park site begins

City of Pointe Claire estimates work to take three to four weeks

By Kevin Woodhouse

Work is being done at the Reliance site in the Pointe Claire industrial park to finally rid the soil of the illegally stored PCBs that had gone undetected for years at the now defunct company.

The long running contaminated soil at Reliance made headlines when it was first announced but work by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change started last week “to characterize the soil of the Reliance site on which PCBs were once illegally stockpiled,” noted a press release from the city. 

“This is a very important step for Pointe Claire citizens, because it’s the final action taken in order to decontaminate this site once and for all and remove any PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) that might have seeped into the ground,” explained Pointe Claire Mayor Morris Trudeau.

The company tasked with the cleanup, TechnoRem Inc., were only able to start recently due to the longer than normal winter and the concern that melting snowpack could have “caused by the runoff of snowmelt water” but thankfully, none occurred.

“Snowmelt and surface water in the stockpiling area were managed to make sure they did not flow out of the property,” noted Trudeau. “They were pumped into cisterns, analyzed and safely disposed of.”

The work is expected to take between three and four weeks to complete including “taking samples according to a systematic pattern. Core samples will be taken up to the boundary of the industrial property, and beyond that limit if necessary, to determine if the soil is contaminated, and if so, how severe the problem is and how far it extends,” the press release stated.

“Our goal is to guarantee the health and safety of Pointe Claire citizens, and we will continue to be proactive and keep a very close eye on this issue,” cited Trudeau. After the characterization process is complete, a two month period will be adhered to, to ensure no contaminated soil has seeped into any adjacent properties.

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