May 12, 2014 9:16 pm

Verdun borough mayor admits to toxic mistake

Jean-François Parenteau, the mayor of the borough of Verdun, on May 12, 2014.

Tim Sargeant, Global News

Watch: ‘No more toxic dumping’ promises mayor of Verdun

MONTREAL – Jean-François Parenteau has promised to never again allow contaminated waste to be dumped on a vacant piece of land next to the St. Lawrence River.

The Verdun borough mayor told Global News that he didn’t object when snow removed from nearby streets was illegally piled up on an old snow dumping ground that was decommissioned in 2001.

”We removed it one week after that,” he said.

A community is up-in-arms after an estimated 1,500 tons of soil heavily contaminated with creosote was dumped near the river in Verdun near the Douglas Hospital and a public pool.

David Sedell/Global News

The borough was fined $5,000 for the offence by the Quebec Environment Department.

It now faces a much steeper penalty — between $24,000 and $3 million for allowing 1,500 tons of contaminated asphalt to be piled up at the same location between November 2013 and April 2014.

Parenteau insisted that he only knew the asphalt was toxic last month, when it was removed.

The road material came from nearby LaSalle Boulevard, which was being repaved.


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More road work is scheduled for 2014, but Parenteau promised that future toxic waste would be sent off-island. He said he would not allow any more contaminated material to be stockpiled at the site.

”Nobody will use the site for anything,” he said.

Montreal city councillor, Sterling Downey, who represents the district of Verdun where the dump site is located was outraged.

”It’s completely unacceptable. It can’t be repeated,” he said.

He said that he was concerned that the borough could face a hefty fine, which could delay rebuilding the area into a more user friendly landscape.

”I’d rather it be rehabilitated and given back to the community as a park space,” he said.

The land, adjacent to the St. Lawrence river, is surrounded by a bike path and a park.

It has been zoned as “green.”

A community is up-in-arms after an estimated 1,500 tons of soil heavily contaminated with creosote was dumped near the river in Verdun near the Douglas Hospital and a public pool.

Tim Sargeant/Global News

 

© Shaw Media, 2014

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