The government has decided to follow Public Health’s recommendations: it will require the Horne Smelter to reduce its arsenic emissions to a ceiling of 15 nanograms per cubic meter within five years.
• Also read: Public Health recommends a threshold five times higher than the Quebec standard
This is an important first step in getting the company to comply with the Quebec standard of 3 ng/m3, Minister for the Environment and Combating Climate Change, Benoît Charrette, argued during a press conference in Rouyn-Noranda.
“The conditions I am presenting today will, we believe, bring the company very significantly closer to meeting Quebec standards, eventually achieving 3 ng/m3 arsenic emissions,” he said.
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Quebec also intends to require Glencore, the company that operates the Horne Smelter, to comply with annual and daily average concentrations of arsenic, cadmium and lead.
The smelter must also progressively reduce its emissions by meeting interim targets for the same pollutants, and reduce both the magnitude and frequency of sulfur dioxide spikes.
The government will ultimately require the smelter to further characterize and decontaminate the country.
In turn, the ministry will ensure the installation of new sampling stations to accentuate the air quality monitoring network.
Benoit Charrette reminded that the government does not rule out a plant closure if Glencore does not comply with government requirements.
It should be noted that the Department intends to issue a decision extending Glencore’s ministerial approval for the Horne Foundry by the end of November 2022.