Since 2021, the Horne Foundry has the right to emit a maximum of 100 ng/m³, or 33 times the Quebec standard.
A new document obtained by Radio-Canada reveals that the Horne Foundry suggested in Quebec City an arsenic emission ceiling of between 20 and 64 nanograms per cubic meter of air (ng/m 3) by 2027, much closer to the 3 ng/m3 standard than the Legault government claimed this week.
The document , which Radio-Canada obtained through the Access to Information Act, is entitled The 3rd action plan : reduction of contaminant emissions in order to obtain the best environmental gain. It is dated February 2022, and it outlines a series of techniques and strategies to improve air quality and the health of Rouyn-Noranda residents.
The document presents the annual average of 20 to 64 ng/m3 as a good starting point as a goal by 2027.
However, earlier this week, the government of François Legault claimed that the Foundry had instead proposed a ceiling of 60 ng/m3, or 20 times the Quebec standard, in the application for renewal of its ministerial authorization.
Saying it was dissatisfied, Quebec then raised the possibility of closing the plant if the company is unable to reduce its emissions.
In a written statement, the company Glencore, which owns the Smelter, had claimed that these 60 ng/m3 were in fact the maximum threshold of the action plan submitted in February 2022, which the document obtained by Radio-Canada confirms.
We indicated during the submission to the government that work was continuing to identify other projects to reduce our emissions, said Cindy Caouette, spokesperson for the Horne Foundry at the time.
Glencore is expected to unveil a step-by-step action plan next month to further reduce its emissions pollutants, which cause an increased risk of lung cancer in Rouyn-Noranda.
Since 2021, the Horne Foundry has the right to emit a maximum of 100 ng/m³, 33 times the Quebec standard.