• Decontaminate Pointe-Claire.org

    Toxic soil remains on the site at 86 Hymus Blvd 3 years after a massive PCB spill

  • 86 Hymus Blvd, Pointe-Claire

    Former headquarters of Équipment de puissance Reliance inc.

    who specialized in rebuilding industrial transformers that used highly toxic PBC oil to isolate high voltage components within the machines.

     

    On March 26th 2013 over 100 liters of highly toxic PCB oil leaked into the ground contaminating the soil and groundwater. The inside of the building is also contaminated with PCB oil soaked into the concrete floor in many places. The ministry of the environment and the city are invoking administrative delays. Three years after the spill the soil has still not been decontaminated and public health has been put at risk.

  • The situation to date: Negligence, incompetence and dishonesty 

    The provincial ministry of the environment, the city of Pointe-Claire and the private cooperation responsible for the spill have failed to protect the health and represent the best interests of the local residents, workers and children.

    The provincial government has failed to act

    Thousands of contaminated sites remain polluted across Quebec

    Contaminated soil represents generational inequality as ecological debt and health problems are handed down to future generations. The minister of the environment, David Heurtel is hiding behind a wall of bureaucratic and administrative delays in order to delay the decontamination of 86 Hymus Blvd in Pointe-Claire. New legislation is desperately needed in order to give the ministry of environment the power, resources, and the legal framework necessary to intervene without delay in cases of highly toxic spills and unsafe and/or undocumented storage facilities.

     

    To this day, the Ministry of the environment has refused to conduct soil tests on the neighbouring lots, preferring to pursue the land owner in court. Regardless of the outcome of the legal case, the site needs to be decontaminated. Administrative delays are allowing the pollution to remain in the ground, increasing the chance of diffusion into neighbouring lots, businesses and homes.


     

    The municipal administration of Pointe-Claire is failed to enforce their own by-law against PCB storage.

    Mayor Morris Trudeau refuses to criticize the provincial response.

    Despite knowing that a significant amount of PCB laced oil was present on the site the City of Pointe-Claire tolerated it's illegal presence for over 15 years until the 2013 spill occurred which brought the issue to the public's attention.

     

    The mayor of Pointe-Claire and city counselors refuse to answer critical questions about their management of the site. The city of Pointe-Claire has spent hundreds of thousands on public relations and « crisis management » consulting in order to prop up the image of the inadequate provincial government's response.

     

    Morris Trudeau made a donation to the Liberal party of Québec in 2015 and regularly congratulates Liberal Environment Minister David Hurtel for his actions in the file. Even when the developments are about bad news, Mayor Morris Trudeau does not hesitate to praise, congratulate and expresses unwavering support for the actions of the provincial government.


     

    The company responsible for the spill claims it cannot afford the multi-million dollar cleanup and decontamination operation.

    The Provincial Government is pursuing legal action against land owners

    During this long legal process at least 520 dump truck loads of highly contaminated soil remain on site. The ministry of the environment has so far refused to carry out soil testing on the neighbouring lots.

    Despite the presence of contaminated soil the site remains accessible to the public.

    Pointe-Claire's elected officials say they can't force the company to secure the site or put up warning signs.

    As a result, people who work at neighbouring businesses continue to park their cars on soil that, according to Journal de Montréal soil tests results and ministry of environment documents is contaminated with PCBs.

    Confidential ministry of environment documents reveal widespread soil and water contamination

    Government officials resisted access to information request

    According to the ministry of environment's own documents it is highly probable that neighbouring lots are contaminated, as is the groundwater, building and over 520 truckloads of contaminated soil still present on the site.

    For at least 15 years Pointe-Claire tolerated an illegal PCB storage site on it's territory 

    During this time residents were submitted to unfair health risks

    Since the site was considered « illegal » there was no emergency plan in case of fire. Experts have indicated that a fire on the site could have been catastrophic to the health of local citizens, emergency responders, children and pregnant women. The City of Pointe-Claire was aware of Reliance's business activities as far back as 1967 and fought them in court in a successful attempt to outlaw PCB storage sites in the city beginning in the 1980s. When the case concluded in the early 2000s Pointe-Claire chose to look the other way rather than to enforce their by-law and have the PCBs removed from the site. Pointe-Claire officials now claim that the site was "discovered" in 2013 when a spill of over 1000 L of PCB laced oil was reported to environment Quebec.

    Pointe-Claire reposessed 86 Hymus for unpaid taxes, then sold it to a private investor before the decontamination process had started

    The ministry of the environment is now engaged in a legal battle with the new owner over decontamination costs, planning and procedure

    The municipal council stands by the provincial government

    The City of Pointe-Claire has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on public relations

    At the March 1st 2016 council meeting they renewed a 103 thousand dollar contract to a public relations firm specialized in « crisis management »

    On their website the firm describes it's crisis management strategy as being the following:

    • Protéger la réputation
    • Rétablir les faits
    • Minimiser les éléments négatifs
    • Situer le contexte
    • Stopper la cabale négative
    • Mettre fin à la crise médiatique en trois heures.

    Dispite their claims and PR stratigies, the government of Quebec has been unwilling to invest in soil decontamination, industrial inspectors or the elimination of PCBs

    While the minister of the environment fails to act while hiding behind administrative procedures and austerity measures people's health and safety has been put at risk. 

    Following the widespread media coverage of the Pointe-Claire spill in 2013 the government of Québec announced a reform of the inspection and management of PBCs in the province. Unfortunately, the reform was not backed up with a dime of additional funding and three years later, has not changed the reality of the situation in Pointe-Claire or across Quebec.

    The City of Pointe-Claire's own documents contradict their public affirmation that the storage site was "discovered" following the 2013 spill. 

    The timeline reveals that city officials were aware of Reliance's sector of activities.

    Despite winning their court case to uphold their anti-PCB law city officials failed to enforce their own regulations and instead pretended the site did not exist. During this time, the site was "off the books" and therefore there was no emergency plan in case of fire.

    Interactive map of contaminated sites in Quebec

    An important tool to visualise the thousands of contaminated sites in Quebec 

    The ministry of the environment has a registry of contaminated sites but does not keep it up to date and not all sites are included. It is estimated that Quebec's ecological dept in terms of contaminates sites alone is in the tens of billions of dollars. 

    Studies estimate Quebec's environmental debt with respect to contaminated sites to be in the billions

    The provincial registry of contaminates sites is incomplete. 

    It is allot less expensive to store toxic waste than it is to properly dispose of it. For this reason, companies across Quebec are storing toxic waste, contaminated soil and dangerous materials indefinitely. 

  • Petition: Decontaminate Pointe-Claire

    We the undersined call on the Gouvernment of Quebec to introduce emergency legislation giving the ministry of the environment the ability to intervene rapidly and carry out decontamination operations following industreal accidents and toxic spills such as the onte that occured on March 26 2013 at 86 Hymus Blvd in Pointe-Claire.

     

    Studies have indicated that the Government of Quebec will need to invest billions of dollars to decontaminate toxic sites. Contaminated soil represents a generational inequality. The time to act is now!

  • What you can do to help Decontaminate Pointe-Claire

    We need your help holding the government to account on toxic contamination in Pointe-Claire and across the province!

    Ask Morris Trudeau questions at monthly Pointe-Claire Municipal Council Meetings.

    Every voice counts; Mayor Morris Trudeau and council need to listen

    Wether you are a resident of Pointe-Claire or a concerned citizen everyone is welcome to ask questions at Pointe-Claire municipal council meeting which are held on the first Tuesday of each month.

    Sign our petition and join our mailing list for updates on this issue

    Every voice counts! Sign the petition!

    Studies have indicated that the Government of Quebec will need to invest billions of dollars to decontaminate toxic sites. Contaminated soil represents a generational inequality. The time to act is now!

    Request a lawn or window sign!

    Show your concern, make a statment and spread awarness

    If you live in Pointe-Claire or the West Island placing a sign on your law is a great way to both show your support for the cleanup effort and bring awareness to this and other environmental issues. The reality is, if people don't speak up these sites will never be safe.

    Let us know you would like your donation to be used to campaign for the cleanup of 86 Hymus

    and other highly toxic sites across Quebec and Canada

    Enough is enough, it's time to cleanup our toxic waste and protect the health and environment of current and future generations.

  • Latest news on the Decontamination of Pointe-Claire

    Municipal concil meetings, protests, latest developments, political pressure and upcoming events.

    At the March 1st Pointe-Claire Council meeting, several citizens spoke up about the lack of signage and large hole in the fence at 86 Hymus Pointe-Claire resident Hue asked about the timeline for the decontamination of the site. The replacement mayor indicated that there is still no clear...
    I attended the March 1st Pointe-Claire municipal council meeting to follow up on the most recent developments in the PCB spill and contamination at 86 Hymus Boulevard. Mayor Morris Trudeau was on vacation and therefore absent. His replacement, Paul Bissonnette began the meeting by reading off a...
    I participated in the February 2016 Pointe-Claire municipal council meeting in order ask mayor Morris Trudeau about why the city of Pointe-Claire has consistently refused to criticize the grossly inadequate response of the provincial government to the massive PCB spill on Hymus Boulevard between...
  • About DecontaminatePointe-Claire.org

    We are a group of citizens working in colaboration with the Green Party of Québec

    Our goal is to pressure both the Government of Québec and the City of Pointe-Claire to decontaminate the site at 86 Hymus as well as similar sites across the province of Quebec.

  • Contact Us

    Send us information, ask questions or request an interview.

    We can also be reached at info@pvq.qc.ca

  • Connect with us on Social Media 

    Decontaminate Pointe-Claire Facebook Page

    Green Party of Quebec main website

     

    Green Party of Quebec Facebook Page 

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