Foul smell from an old quarry upsets Pierrefonds residents
Published Monday, November 7, 2011 12:49PM EST
MONTREAL - A foul smell that kept many Pierrefonds residents indoors five years ago has returned, along with some new concerns.
The smell stems from an old quarry where construction materials were being dumped.
Grant Drisdelle and his wife Mary Sauro say they are fed up after regularly being forced to close the windows during the summer months to avoid the smell.
"It's really really bad," said Sauro. "It makes you feel like you want to gag."
A landfill in the quarry near their home contains layers of construction debris that began rotting after two separate fires.
Now whenever it's damp the decomposing gyprock emits hydrogen sulfide - a smelly gas that wafts right into their neighbourhood.
"I don't know if i would have bought the house had I known there was a quarry here," Drisdelle said.
Drisdelle and his neighbours took on the quarry, and got a promise from the then-owners to install gas wells. That helped for a while.
But this summer the foul smells returned, along with new concerns about toxicity. Two years ago Drisdelle suffered a stroke. With limited mobility he's even more- a prisoner of his home.
"The last thing I need is to be shut up in my home with the lack of clean-air," Drisdelle said.
The landfill's new owner, Ben Gendron, says the hydrogen sulfide is barely traceable and far from dangerous.
As for the smell, on the day CTV Montreal visited, no foul odours were detected.
But the ownership admitted the stench did return this spring when they were recalibrating their gas collection system.
A recycling plant that's scheduled to open on the site in the spring of 2012 will cut down on material going into the landfill, officials say. Will it ever be smell-free completely?
Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough mayor Monique Worth said yes.
"It could take a few months but it will be," she said.