POINTE-CLAIRE – The presence of Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at two adjacent sites to Reliance Power Equipment Corp. are almost five times higher than the norm, according to one environmental group.
The discovery was made after an access to information request was filed with the Environment Ministry by the Journal de Montréal.
The Société pour vaincre la pollution (SVP) ran tests on adjacent land after viewing aerial photographs that seemed to show pollutants seeping off the land of the abandoned equipment company.
Monique Beausoleil, a toxicologist with Quebec’s public health department, explained there is no evidence of danger to residents of Pointe-Claire.
“The ground that the homes sit on is slightly elevated, so we don’t see any possibility of contamination,” she told Global News.
“We already assured the residents that there was no risk because there was no contact.”
She pointed out that all the contaminated equipment was taken off the site and what’s left is to dig deep into the soil to make sure there are no lingering pollutants.
“The situation has gotten much better since this all started in 2013,” Beausoleil said.
“There are many steps to take before the site will be completely cleaned and we’re taking samples to see what the levels are in the soil.”
According to Pointe-Claire Mayor Morris Trudeau, clean-up is up to the province.
One business owner told Global News he felt trapped by the situation: he’d rather have the province clean up the site than trust a private individual.
In the meantime, he worries he can’t sell his property and is concerned about staying put.
PCBs were first discovered leaking into the ground at Reliance’s old Hymus Boulevard headquarters in 2013.
Since then, the land has been sold to a private equity firm for back taxes.