07/23/2013 02:48 EDT | Updated 09/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Lac-Mégantic demands MM&A foot cost of clean-up

The mayor of Lac-Mégantic is demanding that Montreal, Maine & Atlantic, the railway company involved in the train derailment and explosion that devastated the Eastern Townships community on July 6, provide the money for the clean-up process.

Today, Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche, in collaboration with the government of Quebec, issued a letter of formal notice to MM&A for not fulfilling its contractual duty to pay for the cost of removing the debris and oil.

"Lac-Mégantic cannot tolerate this situation," she said.

The mayor said the town has already paid out $4 million to clean-up crews. Roy-Laroche said they would have stopped working if they didn't get paid and, according to her, no money from MM&A to pay them was forthcoming.

Roy-Laroche said MM&A should pay for the entire operation — something that is outlined in the formal letter issued today.

In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Roy-Laroche said the letter made other demands, namely for MM&A to provide in the next 48 hours a detailed clean-up management plan, as well as to guarantee the qualifications of the people responsible for doing the work.

Roy-Laroche said any delay in the removal of the oil and burned-out part of Lac-Mégantic posed a health risk to the town's residents.