Wastewater discharge: Ottawa appoints three scientists

groupe-aura-jusquau-2-novembreThe Federal Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced on Sunday the establishment of the group of scientific experts that will analyze the project of the City of Montreal to dump eight billion liters of sewage into the St. Lawrence River.

The federal government has appointed Professor Robert Hausler engineering department of the construction of the École de technologie supérieure, Viviane Yargeau, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering from McGill University and Daniel G. Cyr, professor at the INRS Armand-Frappier Institute to discuss the project of the City of Montreal.

This group will have until November 2 to submit a review report. By then, the City will proceed with repairs to a water main which were originally scheduled between 18 and 25 October.

After reading the information provided by the administration of Mayor Denis Coderre, Minister Aglukkaq considers that the spill is likely to have “significant” impact on the environment and deplores the fact that the city has not done a study on the impacts of such a rejection.

“The data are limited, the Ministry can not confirm if untreated wastewater that must be discarded have a degree of acute toxicity”, said the Minister in a press release.

The Federal Government therefore stresses the importance of Sunday morning “to have on hand a rigorous and comprehensive scientific analysis for this project,” while mentioning in passing the “strong concerns of the public.”

The panel will analyze the environmental risks of the spill and try to determine if there are other measures to mitigate its effects.

“Renowned in their field, these experts will be supported and assisted by Environment Canada’s scientific expertise. We thus obtain a rigorous and comprehensive scientific analysis of this project and, in doing so, we will ensure the best possible protection to the St. Lawrence River, “Aglukkaq said.

At the time of this text online, the administration Coderre had not yet responded.

Earlier in the week, the mayor had strongly criticized the federal government. He said Friday that the decision to discontinue work was “unfair” and “irresponsible.” He also accused the Conservative government of “doing politics” on the back of Montreal and wanting to save time before the elections.

The provincial government has authorized the spill defends the work of experts from the Ministry of Environment of Quebec for three weeks. “The Quebec government experts have done their duty. They conducted a rigorous and comprehensive analysis, based on scientific knowledge. Moreover, their findings are supported by external academic experts in government, “he said on October 14, the day the federal government announced the suspension of the project.

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