Montreal

Quebec takes charge of Pointe-Claire PCB clean up

The decontamination of a toxic PCB leak detected in 2013 in Pointe-Claire will be handled by the provincial government, Environment Minister David Heurtel announced Monday.

Government will 'take all necessary action' to ensure taxpayers are reimbursed, says environment minister

Environment Minister David Heurtel is calling for bids to rehabilitate the PCB leak site in Pointe-Claire. (CBC)

Quebec's Environment Ministry is moving forward with plans to rehabilitate the Pointe-Claire site contaminated by a PCB leak.

The government has launched a call for tenders after Reliance Power Equipment Ltd., the company that stored the transformers full of PCB-laden oil and Juste Investir, the current owners of the site, failed to comply with a government ordinance to decontaminate the tainted soil.

"In February, when I issued the ordinance for the rehabilitation of the land, I pledged that the government would decontaminate the land if the companies failed to comply. That is what we will do," Environment Minister David Heurtel said in a statement.

Reliance had been illegally storing the transformers for 15 years. The leak was detected in 2013.

Two-part call for tenders

The call for tenders is in two parts. The first is for the complete decontamination of the soil at 86 Hymus Boulevard, where Reliance kept the transformers.

The second is for the assessment and monitoring of contamination levels on adjacent lots and in the groundwater beneath the site.

"As we have done since the beginning in this case, we've taken necessary measures to rehabilitate these lands," said Heurtel. "We will take all necessary action to ensure that Quebec taxpayers are reimbursed for expenses to be incurred from the offending companies."

Reliance had been illegally storing transformers full of toxic PCB-laden oil at a site in Pointe-Claire for 15 years. The leak was detected in 2013. (CBC)

Mayor happy with government action

Pointe-Claire Mayor Morris Trudeau says he is pleased with the announcement, noting that since the beginning his main concern was the safety and security of the site for the environment and for people living and working nearby.

"It'll be nice when we can close the dossier," said Trudeau. "But as I say it will not be closed until the site is completely rehabilitated and that the neighbouring sites are rehabilitated, if necessary."

Air quality tests ruled out any health risks related to the PCBs.

Trudeau says the full decontamination of the Hymus site should be completed by Dec. 31.

now