St. Boniface residents meet with province to demand new air tests
Neighbours blame metal shredding company for acrid smells, dust
Members of the South St. Boniface Residents Association are meeting with a Sustainable Development deputy minister Tuesday to demand new air quality tests for the Dufresne area.
They argue the metal shredder operated by Industrial Metals near Messier Street and Archibald Street on emits dust, gases and sounds that pose a risk to human health.
"The smells are so bad they burn our lungs," said association vice president Teresa Cwik. "Some days it's sunny but it's hazy and the haze is from them."
A report by the Manitoba government in March 2016 found no air quality problems in the area but residents Cwik, who has lived in Dufresne her whole life, believe the research was faulty.
In response to CBC, Industrial Metals said government regulators approves of its operations.
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"Our company has been granted an Environmental License by Manitoba Sustainable Development. It is under these stringent guidelines that we operate our business," Dan Chisick, an owner of Industrial Metals, said in an email.
Cwik and a handful of other members of the association along with St. Boniface MLA and former premier Greg Selinger are meeting with Sustainable Development Deputy Minister Bruce Grey Monday afternoon.
The residents plan to ask the province to pay for an independent researcher like University of Manitoba researcher Shirley Thompson, who was critical of the province's 2016 report, or a company like Winnipeg Air Testing to conduct an air quality survey of the area.
Cwik said if an independent survey comes back finding no problematic dust or chemicals in the air, she will continue to lobby the province to insist the company move its operations away from the city.
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She said loud noises from the metal shredder start at 8 a.m. and go until 4 p.m. almost every day.
"I feel my house shake and and I hear bang, bang, bang, bang, bang all day long," she said. "Everyone in the area pretty much has their TVs turned up to the max."