Event planned in its parking lot, the Horne Foundry wants to reassure the population

Event planned in its parking lot, the Horne Foundry wants to reassure the population


Faced with concerns raised by citizens about a family event planned in its parking lot this weekend, the Horne Foundry in Rouyn-Noranda, which has been in the news for several weeks because of its toxic fumes , ensures that measures will be taken to secure the event.

The foundry specifies that the parking lot will be cleaned in time for Saturday's Operation Recycling Day. This will be done “with the help of a vacuum truck”, confirmed to us, Thursday, the superintendent of communications and relations with the company’s community, Cindy Caouette. She added that this will be done “as before each of the 16 [previous annual] events” organized by the foundry in the past.

Ms Caouette stressed that “so there is no contamination “. However, this information could not be validated by an independent source.

“In the past 15 years the event has been held, we have always put people's health and safety first and we have never had any complaints or accidents,” said the spokesperson. .

Then, a few hours later, the company posted the following message on social media: “Following a discussion with the Regional Public Health Department, as a precaution, we will not will not install inflatable games as part of our event”.

The question of the site chosen by the company to hold a popular event during which citizens are invited to drop off their obsolete electronic devices was discussed last week during a meeting of health authorities with citizens of the Notre -Dame, the district most affected by industrial pollution from the foundry.

“As public health experts, do you recommend that young children go and play on probably the most contaminated land in the city?” had launched a citizen to the national director of public health, Dr. Luc Boileau, present during this meeting.

The citizen, Liette Constant, referred to the inflatable games that the foundry planned to install for the children on this occasion.

Seeming shaken, Dr. Boileau asked Ms. Constant if she really wanted him to answer this question. He eventually blurted out that “someone forgot to connect two or three wires over there!” “It is annoying to hear this invitation,” added Dr. Boileau, specifying in the same breath that he did not know the level of contamination of the land in question and that he did not know if he was going to be the subject cleaning.

We tried, without success, on Wednesday and Thursday, to obtain information about this situation from the CISSS, in particular whether it has data on the level of contamination of the Horne Foundry parking lot and whether it intended to issue specific instructions to ensure the safety of participants in Saturday's event.

It should be noted that the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change (MELCC) has been holding a public consultation since Tuesday on the project to renew the ministerial authorization for the Horne Foundry, which makes it possible to set the establishment's obligations in terms of environmental protection for the next five years.