Cement McInnis is not able to respect the law

McInnis Cement is not able to comply with the law


Ciment McInnis increases the release of dust and contaminants into the atmosphere to the point where the Ministry of the Environment threatens to use an order to force the company to comply with the law.

As Le Journal revealed in 2020, the cement plant, which is the biggest polluter in Quebec, emits sticky dust. These episodes reoccurred in the summer and fall of 2021.

Several non-compliance notices were issued to the Port-Daniel company in Gaspésie and a criminal investigation is even underway . 

Because of the investigation, the ministry has so far refused to provide several information.

We now learn that the problem of dust and contaminants is even more serious. 

Between August 12, 2020 and September 8, 2021, there were at least 10 equipment failures that led to episodes dust on the plant site. 

As of May 31, 2022, the ministry has received 80 reports and 11 complaints, including from residents neighboring the plant.

Not just dust

In a statement released yesterday, the Ministry of the Environment confirms that the problem is regular and continues, despite the investigation and several notices of non-compliance urging it to comply. 

The ministry therefore now intends to compel the company to comply with the law by means of an order. However, it has the obligation to send him a notice to inform him of its intentions, which was done on June 30.

Ciment McInnis has 15 days to present its arguments and the department may then decide whether to go ahead with the order.

According to this notice, we also learn that in addition to dust, the cement plant emits particles into the atmosphere that exceed the standards, that it did not send its sampling reports on time or indicate whether measures to correct the situation have been put in place.

False green promises

If the ordinance is applied, Ciment McInnis will have to stop rejecting contaminants beyond the standards, award a contract to an independent expert to assess the air purification equipment, submit a dust control plan and atmospheric contaminants in addition to providing an independent certificate confirming that the work for the control of contaminants is compliant.

Recall that the cement plant, which cost $1.55 billion and has been in operation since 2017, is now the largest greenhouse gas emitter in Quebec. 

It has not respected several green promises it made in 2014 in order to reassure the population about its environmental impact.

Since the Beaudoin-Bombardier family relaunched the project in 2012, the cement plant has always been controversial. In addition to the public funds swallowed up, it also managed to avoid an independent analysis by the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE). 

Last February, our Bureau of Investigation revealed that the company was sanctioned very little for its breaches. 

In addition to the notices of non-compliance concerning the episodes of dust, Ciment McInnis only received a fine of $5,000 and around ten notice of non-compliance since 2014 for various environmental incidents.

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