Decontamination of the Saint-Germain Foundry
On December 4, 2019, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) released two environmental reports detailing risks tied to the contamination of the former Saint-Germain Foundry, located in St-Edmond-de-Grantham, Quebec, in response to an access to information request.
- We are committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians as well as the environment.
- Decontamination work targeting the former foundry’s work area was completed in March 2019, and land rehabilitation and landscaping of the area was completed in August 2019.
- Decontamination was undertaken based on past assessment results, and once in progress additional contamination was discovered. PSPC then advised the province and more studies and testing were done.
- The Department and provincial authorities are collaborating to address the surface contamination.
If pressed on surface contamination and its risks:
- On December 2, 2019, Public Services and Procurement Canada, along with municipal and provincial authorities, held an information session with neighbours of the foundry to inform them of the situation and next steps.
- Further studies are underway to determine the extent of the surface contamination and assess further decontamination measures.
If pressed on groundwater contamination:
- Groundwater characterization studies carried out from 2011 to 2018 demonstrated that contamination from the former foundry operations would not have had an impact on nearby drinking water wells.
The Saint-Germain Foundry, located in St-Edmond-de-Grantham, Quebec, operated between 1977 and 2006. During this time, it processed metal scraps, resulting in an accumulation of contaminants such as metals, dioxins and furans.
In July 2010, the Government of Quebec informed PSPC that the site of the former Saint-Germain Foundry had been transferred to the Crown under the terms of the Canada Business Corporations Act. Per the Canada business Corporation Act, when companies go bankrupt (and there are no identified owners), the Crown (PSPC) becomes the custodian of last resort.
In September 2016, PSPC awarded a $9.8 million contract to GPEC International for the site’s environmental remediation.
Decontamination work targeting the former foundry’s work area was completed in March 2019. Ground levelling, cleaning and tree planting were completed in August 2019.
During the decontamination, PSPC discovered the presence of surface contamination on the former foundry’s site and outer limits and notified provincial authorities.
Groundwater contamination is present on the former foundry’s site, but this water is not used as a source of drinking water. The drinking water of neighbours’ wells are not contaminated; the quality of drinking water within these wells is monitored annually by the province.
In August 2019, PSPC, the Municipality, the province and its health authorities committed to work collaboratively as further analyses were conducted by both PSPC and the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) to confirm the scope of the airborne contamination.
The first results from PSPC’s further analysis confirmed the presence of airborne contamination at the outer limits of the former foundry. Results of the province’s analysis are expected in the winter of 2020. There is a possible contamination of neighbouring properties, which fall under provincial jurisdiction.
On December 2, 2019, a meeting was held by PSPC, the MELCC, the provincial health authority and the municipality to inform residents neighbouring the foundry of the surface contamination at the outer limits of the site. A second meeting with neighbouring residents could be held in winter 2020, following receipt of the results of MELCC’s study.
On December 4, 2019, the reports requested via the access to information request were released to the requestor.
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