Reliance consultant submits PCB clean-up plan
Published Tuesday, September 3, 2013 9:04PM EDT
A West Island company has met a deadline to submit a clean-up plan for its land in Pointe-Claire after it was found to have leaked PCBs onto its property last March.
Harry Baikowitz, a chemist and consultant hired by Reliance Power Corporation, sent Quebec’s Environment Ministry a plan Tuesday morning to clean up the land behind its property, where someone tampered with the valve of a transformer filled with PCB-laced oil.
“We’re giving an outline of what we're going to pursue. It’s very detailed,” said Baikowitz, meeting the deadline Environment Minister Yves-François Blanchet set last week.
The plan includes moving all of the transformers and other equipment from the site and into a new extension that has already been reinforced for safety.
Around-the-clock security and police are guarding the Hymus Blvd. site in the meantime.
“We're going to try to make sure we get all of this material that has PCBs in it into one place to take stock of it and know how much it's going to (take to) clean it up,” said Baikowitz.
After that, experts will take soil samples to determine how many PCBs have leaked into the ground, a two-step process that will take 60 to 90 days.
That timeframe doesn't reassure Tania Emond, who lives kitty-corner to the Reliance Power Corporation.
“We stopped drinking the water,” said Emond, who added that she and her friend also removed a child’s swimming pool from their backyard.
She's now concerned about her vegetable garden.
“We were hoping that the city could come in and test the soil and so that I can eat my vegetables that I've taken so much time and effort (to grow). Our children love our cucumbers and carrots and we've been eating our tomatoes. What's going to happen if something actually has happened to us?”
Meantime the city of Pointe-Claire issued another letter to residents near the site Tuesday, advising them of a meeting at city hall Thursday night to update them on the situation.
The letter also states it won't tolerate any delays in the cleanup.
Baikowitz said there won't be any delays; that his proposal is solid and should be approved.
However, he added, “It's a political ball so I never know.”