NEWS

Pointe-Claire company behind PCBs will 'fully co-operate'

08/30/2013 11:00 EDT | Updated 10/30/2013 05:12 EDT
The company accused of storing PCB-laden oil on its Pointe-Claire property says it is willing to submit an action plan for the removal of the chemicals and comply with the Quebec government’s demands.

Environment Minister Yves-François Blanchet, says Reliance Power Equipment responded last night and said it was willing to “fully co-operate.”

Transformers containing oil with high concentrations of PCBs leaked between 800-1,200 litres of the oily liquid onto the West Island site in March.

The Quebec government and the City of Pointe Claire gave Reliance until 10:25 a.m. today to reply to their demands and agree to clean up the PCBs it had stored on its West Island property for 15 years.

Despite the company's response, the environment minister says he has his doubts, given the weeks of unsuccessful attempts to get Reliance to come forward.

“I accept Reliance’s response with reservations. My level of distrust, which is based on the behaviour of the company’s management over the past years, is very low,” Blanchet says.

It could take months to remove the transformers that contain the PCBs and then clean up the contaminated soil.

The environment ministry estimates the work could cost up to $2.5 million.

The company has until Sept. 3 to submit its preliminary action plan to the government.

The blueprint must outline plans for the removal of the chemicals and their transfer to a safe storage area, as well as plans for soil decontamination on the site.

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