PCBs to be removed from Pointe Claire by Christmas

Pointe Claire Mayor Morris Trudeau announced last week at city hall that PCBs will be removed from the Reliance Power Equipment Ltd. by Christmas.

The facility made news in August for illegally storing electrical transformers containing polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and ignoring several calls to remove the contaminants.

According to Trudeau, all contaminants deemed highly dangerous at the Hymus Boulevard site have already been removed.

“We were very fortunate because this could easily have turned into a catastrophic situation given that polychlorinated biphenyls had been illegally stored on the site for many years,” said the mayor.

Pointe Claire’s administration informed Quebec environmental officials of an 800-1,100 litre oil leak containing PCBs at the Hymus Boulevard facility in March 2013. The issue was dealt with in August and since then the transformers have been emptied, and containers filled with oily water and contaminated soil have been disposed.

Environment Minister Yves-Francois Blanchet announced that all known companies storing PCBs  will undergo inspection in the following months.

Since 1977, the import, manufacture, and sale of PCBs have been illegal in Canada, and the release of the chemical into the environment was made illegal in 1985. However, the owners using PCBs at the time were allowed to continue using the equipment until the end of its service life.

Source: The Chronicle