Quebec’s environment ministry has received its long-awaited report on contamination at a former PCB-storage site in Pointe-Claire, in Montreal’s West Island.
So far, the government has yet to release it publicly.
The government ordered testing of the area surrounding the former Reliance Power Equipment Corp. site on Hymus Boulevard last year after it was found to be contaminated with PCBs in 2013.
Since then, residents and business owners in the surrounding area have pushed to have their land tested too.
Last year, the ministry said it would consider testing the land of some nearby residences, depending on what was in the report.
The ministry got the report last week, saying they are studying it and testing of some residences will go ahead.
Environmentalists have been left questioning what’s in the report and wondering why it isn’t being released.
“I think the report shows there is a major problem around the Reliance site,” said Alex Tyrrell, leader of Quebec’s Green Party.
“It will cost millions of dollars, but despite the cost, it has to be done because lots of people work and live here close to the site and their house should be a priority.”
Tyrrell said he is concerned about the report and has filed an access to information request to see it.
READ MORE: No timeline on PCB cleanup in Pointe-Claire
“I think it’s a huge lack of transparency,” Tyrrell said.
“People have a right to this information. There is no reason the ministry of environment should keep it secret.”
“They made the conclusion. The residential lots need to be tested. They should be able to share the information.”
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Raen Seyegh has been asking to have her land tested for years.
She can see the former Reliance site from her backyard and is worried about contamination.
She said she rarely ventures out in her garden and has never let her 16-month-old daughter Milana out either.
“I’m very scared because every time I do that, my child is being exposed and the more you are exposed, the more it affects you,” Sayegh said.
“She is 16 months, so of course she will be picking things up, putting things in her mouth, getting all dirty and the contamination is right here.”
“I am putting my child at risk and am I comfortable with it? I am not.”
The City of Pointe-Claire and the environment ministry have maintained the level of contamination found so far isn’t dangerous to residents.
The government hasn’t indicated when the report will be released.