The borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro released a statement following complaints of a dry material landfill that has been causing a stench in the neighbourhood as construction on the site continues.
The closure of the former Meloche Quarry, which holds construction and demolition materials, is expected to be completed by 2021, but smells from the site have been “more intense and more frequent than before” as residents wait impatiently for the work to be over.
The Borough responded to the complaints by saying that it’s “sensitive to this situation, which is causing inconveniences for a large part of the population in the West.”
According to the statement, “the Borough has doubled its efforts to take the necessary steps with the responsible authorities, to get updates from them on the situation.”
Matrec, the company responsible for closing the site, previously told Global News it was waiting for approval to install additional bio-gas capturing equipment from Quebec’s Environment Ministry before moving ahead.
In 2007, a network of bio-gas capturing pipes and wells was installed on the site. However, it was later deemed insufficient for the volume of gases emitted by the decomposing materials.
As a result, a putrid smell fills the air of the surrounding area as gases that have an odour similar to rotten eggs escape the landfill.
“Be assured that the Borough is sensitive to this situation and that we are closely monitoring the progress of the work with the organizations involved,” said Borough Mayor Dimitrios (Jim) Beis in a statement.
“We share the distress of our citizens and patience will be required until these mandatory operations are finalized. Until then, we continue to do our duty to inform you.”
The landfill site will be completely covered with multiple layers of sand and gravel atop of the decomposing materials, the borough and Matrec told Global News on Wednesday.
According to the borough’s statement, the closure of the GFL landfill site has been underway for three months now, and is currently under the supervision of Quebec’s environment ministry and the City of Montreal’s environmental services.
The installation of 35 new vertical wells along with a second gas burner is also underway, which will capture the gas and then burn it — thereby reducing the smell.
Once the site is covered, a geo-membrane layer will be placed over the covered land to prevent contaminated rainwater from escaping the quarry.
This process will be repeated a second time, Matrec officials told Global News on Wednesday.
The borough said it has intervened with the authorities on the magnitude of the odours emanating from the site.
“The new larger flare will be started during the winter of 2020, earlier than planned, thus after the drilling of the first fifteen (15) wells to try to mitigate the situation. In total, GFL expects that it will take approximately 18 months to complete the closure of the landfill site,” the city said in a statement.
The statement also revealed the The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, and Fight Against Climate Change visited the site to assess the situation. The ministry “measured the concentration of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and methane in some homes, and nothing was detected.”
“After verifications, the infrastructures are in compliance with the certificate of authorization,” the borough claims.
— With files from Global’s Brayden Jagger Haines