The McInnis cement plant of St. Mary's Cement inc., in Port-Daniel–Gascons
Following notices of no -compliance remained a dead letter, the Ministry of the Environment takes a step further. He intends to force St. Mary's Cement to take action to stop dust emissions at the Ciment McInnis plant in Port-Daniel-Gascons, Gaspésie. The company says it is working to correct the situation.
The Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change (MELCC) published, on June 30, a notice prior to an order with respect to the operator.
Since the dust emission problem emerged in the summer of 2020 in Port-Daniel–Gascons, which has been occurring sporadically since then, the MELCC has been doing everything possible to enforce the Environment Quality Act ( LQE) and the authorizations issued, can be read in the text of this notice.
Despite several notices of non-compliance and an ongoing criminal investigation, it is added, the Department had to assess other remedies available to it to have this situation corrected. The Minister therefore intends to serve the company with an order to compel it to correct this problem.
Several opinions have been expressed with regard to the plant.
Thus, St. Marys Cement must in particular cease the release of contaminants into the environment beyond established standards. It must also grant a mandate to an independent expert recognized by the Ministry to carry out an assessment of the proper functioning of all air purification equipment and submit a report including findings and recommendations.
The company is also required to submit to the Ministry a control plan for dust and other atmospheric contaminants with a work schedule and to carry out the work.
Following this notice prior to the order, the company may present its written observations to the Minister within 15 days. The Minister may then decide to issue the order based on the observations made by the company, if any.
At the time of publishing this text, Radio-Canada had not been able to have an interview with the Ministry.
Interrogated following this notice, St. Mary's Cement made know by email that it recognizes that dust emissions need significant improvement.
The company says it is committed to working with the Ministry of the Environment and complying with all the conditions of its permit and to ensuring the safe and sustainable operation of the plant for employees, surrounding communities and the general public.
The company has budgeted approximately C$40 million for operational and environmental improvements this year. We are also actively working with our environmental team to monitor performance, resolve issues and put in place sustainable preventative measures to ensure plant operations are compliant, St. Mary's Cement management said.
Rain leaves behind a dusty residue. (Archives)
The latter says it is actively working to correct the situation and is collaborating with the Ministry of the Environment to mitigate dust generated by production processes and report on its progress.
L& #x27;company says to ensure that equipment is in good working order to maintain operations within established regulatory thresholds, to ensure that sampling reports are provided to the Department in a timely manner timely and communicate its plans, corrective actions and progress.
Environnement Vert Plus spokesperson Pascal Bergeron said he was a bit perplexed. It is a threat to apply sanctions, we may be saying that we will do that, but there is no concrete action taken yet, he comments.
On the other hand, Pascal Bergeron says he is pleasantly surprised to see a wealth of information made public for the first time.
We are happy that there have the minister intervene in the file, he said. For the first time, we have a valid source of information, but we are impatiently awaiting the rest of this notice.
In addition, the Regional Public Health Department of Gaspésie says it is monitoring the situation and plans to hold a public meeting in Port-Daniel in the presence of Dr. Yv Bonnier-Viger, at the beginning of August, to provide information and listen to citizens regarding these dust emissions and the effects of the activities of the cement plant in their environment.
With information from Isabelle Damphousse