MONTREAL – It’s Day One of the City of Montreal’s plan to dump eight billion litres of untreated sewage into the St. Lawrence River.
A few dozen protesters gathered in the Old Port late Tuesday night in a last-ditch effort to stop the process, but the discharge began as planned Wednesday morning at 12:01 a.m.
It will take up to a week.
The dump started just one day after Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre spoke out about Ottawa’s decision to allow the process.
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna asked the city to implement several measures before dumping the waste water, such as monitoring the discharge and improving emergency-planning clean-up measures.
Coderre said the dump is necessary because the city must temporarily close a large sewer that feeds sewage to a treatment facility and alternative solutions would be too costly.
WATCH: Denis Coderre speaks out about Ottawa’s decision to allow Montreal to discharge eight billion litres of untreated sewage into the Saint Lawrence River. Global’s Billy Shields reports.
He openly accused the previous government of being anti-science and using the city’s sewage crisis as political fodder during the recent federal election campaign.
The mayor outlined a list of objects that should not be thrown down a toilet.
In mid-October, the discharge plan was suspended by the previous Conservative government, which appointed an independent panel of experts to determine if the waste water would be acutely toxic.
WATCH: Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna announced Montreal will be allowed to dump eight billion litres of raw sewage into the Saint Lawrence River. Global’s Tim Sargeant explains.
The panel’s report was released Friday and stated the risks of waiting were greater than the city’s plan to dump the sewage immediately into the river.
** with files from The Canadian Press.
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