September 25, 2022

La Ronge Northerner

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Air pollution: Eight factories are entitled to reductions from Quebec standards

The government wanted to give time only after sendingMisinformation from many ministersLast week, 89 companies were sanctioned for flouting the environmental law.

The standards they can get away with are related to air pollution, but no one has the right to violate water standards.

List of 8 factories authorized to pollute beyond the standard (details of exemptions given at the end of the article)

SaguneiLac-Saint-Jean :

  • Elkem Metal, Chaguneil (Metal)
  • Rio Tinto Alcan, Arvida plant in Saguenay (aluminum)
  • Rio Tinto Alcon, Laterare plant, Saguenay (Aluminum)

Morrissey :

  • Westrock Mill, La Duc (pulp and paper)
  • Kruger Viacomac Mill, Trois-Rivieres (pulp and paper)

ABTP-Temiskaming :

  • Horn Smelter, Rouen-Noranda (copper production)
  • RAYONIER MILL, DEMISCAMING (PULP AND PAPER)

Northern Quebec :

  • Kraft Nordic SEC – Domtar, in Lebel-sur-Quevillon (pulp and paper)

In most cases, these exceptions, related to exposure to odors or fine dust particles, do not apply. »

A quote Quebec Ministry of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change (MELCC)

However, MELCC could not say precisely which of those eight companies complied with the standards.

Kruger is on the short list, with its Wayagamack plant in Trois-Rivières, even though the company says it does not benefit from any exemptions.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Martin Chabot

Public health monitors these factories

Luc Boileau, national director of public health for Quebec, announced in a press release that further measures authorized by Quebec have been shared with the relevant regional public health departments.

We monitor all these overtaking situations closely. In light of the information provided, most of these do not create major concerns, and for some, the general situation is improving, which reassures us. »

A quote Luc Boileau, Quebec’s National Director of Public Health

Dr. Boileau adds: We will do everything necessary to deepen our understanding of these situations so that, if necessary, concrete solutions are put forward so that citizens continue to benefit from the environmental conditions necessary for their health and well-being.

confusion

Last week, Quebec’s Environment Minister, Benoit Charette corrected himself 89 After stating that companies have the right to pollute beyond the standard, esp Excessive pollution. Unable to give further details, his cabinet corrected that the actual number was much smaller.

The Economy Minister, Pierre Fitzgibbon, also issued false statements referring to these 89 companies. Play by the rules, but doing so takes time. Most of the media, including Radio-Canada, published this false information.

Many companies Refused to pollute beyond standards, despite their presence in the list of 89 certificates. Even the Forestry Industry Council said There are no exceptions for the pulp and paper sector. Finally, four out of eight plants fall under this sector.

Krueger had said he did not benefit from any defamation environmental standards, but his spokesman changed his mind At its Wayagamack plant in Trois-Rivières, it now admits it “slightly” violates them.

All documents are not yet public

The ministry released 18 clearance certificates out of a total of 89 certificates, as many of them are still in the hands of companies that ensure they protect sensitive information before allowing them to be released.

On the other hand, eight documents that could be derogatory from the standard are actually published. Applicable standards shall not be amendedDeputy Minister Mark Kurdo promised.

Section wise exemption details

The ministry believes the two Rio Tinto Alcon smelters on the list actually meet the standards, despite the right to opt out.

Elkem Metal, for its part, says it has not needed to use its special permit for years.

The Ministry of Environment points out that Department of Public Health [de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue] It submitted concerns about health impacts for PM 2.5 fine particles and requested the plant to comply with ambient air standards in its next cleanup certificate, the renewal of which is ongoing..

The Lebel-sur-Quévillon company says the ministry’s list contained an error and has no right to deviate from the standards it respects.

Of the initial list of 89 companies, 12 are no longer in operation and 69 are subject to strict requirements and standards or equivalent regulations applicable in Quebec.

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