Horne Smelter tailings all over their land
Citizens say they are worried about the situation, especially since they say they have noticed that dust continues to accumulate in some places.
Citizens living near Lac Pelletier, in Rouyn-Noranda, say they are very worried about the presence of mine tailings that have fallen all over their land in recent days.
All began last Tuesday evening as a large cloud resembling smoke was visible in the forest behind the residences.
My son was inconvenienced going out with the dogs, he didn't even stay two minutes, he told me that he was not well and that he was like in a cloud of smoke. When we got up the next morning, we really noticed that something had happened, tells us Guylaine Godbout, who lives in the area.< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">Dust is very dark and easily visible in the snow anywhere on the pitch.
In addition to the dust visible all over the snow on his property, it can also be seen on his house and on his vehicle. We noticed the same phenomenon at his two neighbours.
The three owners say they are worried about the situation, especially since they say they have noticed that the dust continues to accumulate in some places and it seems to melt the snow.
I had made tracks in the snow and I realized yesterday (Thursday) that it was still on my tracks, explains Guylaine Godbout.
We can see in this photo that residue has been deposited again since the snow was removed last Wednesday.
Guylaine Godbout and her neighbors contacted the Horne Foundry, owner of the tailings site, which is less than a kilometer away. This is a tailings facility used by the Horne mine from 1952 to 1986. Smelter tailings have now been sent there for a few years. The citizens also contacted the Ministry of the Environment.
The Horne Foundry analyzed the situation and informed the residents that it would try to understand what had happened.< /p>
This is an exceptional event that occurred during the strongest winds, in the early evening. We were informed Wednesday morning by residents of the presence of dust and an investigation is currently underway on this incident, indicated Cindy Caouette, superintendent of communications and community relations for the Horne Foundry, specifying that a action plan will be established following the investigation to correct the situation, if necessary.
When you remove the dust, you can see the color difference.
Friday afternoon, the management of the Horne Foundry informed us that all dust would be removed by the company, but only in the residential sector. The residues that are in the forest will therefore remain on the ground.
The foundry claims that it is mostly iron oxide.
The Ministry of the Environment also went on site to collect samples. In particular, he will try to determine which substances ended up on the property of the residents.
The ministry is currently carrying out the required verifications, in particular by sampling residues and assessing whether there is a breach of environmental legislation. If this is the case, it will take action according to its Directive on the treatment of breaches, the Ministry of the Environment told us by email.
The dust is visible over a good distance and can be found even on Lac Pelletier.
A Ministry employee also advised one of the owners to keep the animals out and to wash his clothes thoroughly.
The neighbor was advised to remove his pants and changing his boots, not taking his animals out. It's a shame that no one came to tell us about this. Luckily it was me who came to see the neighbor to get some news, she says.
Some residents we met were unaware that a mining tailings site was behind their residence when they purchased their home. They hope to get answers quickly.
The tailings have somewhat blackened the snow in this area.< /p>