Pointe-Claire PCB dump finally getting cleaned up

It's been six years since officials found an illegal PCB dump in Pointe-Claire and now it looks like the site will finally be cleaned up.

The City of Pointe-Claire said the cleanup will take 32 weeks but did not say who will cover the cost of the work.

The PCBs were discovered at the old Reliance Power Equipment site on Hymus Blvd. in 2013. 

"It's not moving anywhere," the province's Environment ministry said at the time. "It's not going towards the residents." 

Daniel Green, deputy leader of the Green Party of Canada, told CTV that isn't quite the case.

"When a hazardous waste site is left by itself and not cleaned up quickly, the chemicals on the site escape," he said. "I've sampled the area around that site. I detected PCBs outside of the site where cars are parked, where people walk."

The site has been the source of lengthy legal battles that saw Reliance go bankrupt and the site later purchased by Juste Investir, an investment firm. The government then mandated Juste Investir to clean up the land. 

"What we need in Quebec is a fund, a toxic fund, to intervene quickly on the site and then sue the polluter," he said.

PCBs are man-made chemicals composed of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine atoms. They can cause liver and respiratory problems in humans. 

Crews showed up last week in preparation for the removing of the contaminated soil, a welcomed site for nearby residents.

"We've been concerned for a long time that there was a leak right around the corner behind our homes," said Gina Gasparrini. 

"I'm hoping that this will be a lesson to be taught so that when they do write up some much-needed new laws to protect the environment and the safety of everybody, they'll remember what happened here," she said.