Concerns About PCB Leaching


Agenda item #3 on today’s ETC Agenda was an information report about the MOE’s PCB Storage Facility Decommissioning Project. However, instead of simply receiving the report, several councillors raised concerns.

Councillor Lonc quietly expressed a concern about the city’s potential liability if there happened to be a vehicle tip-over during transport because of a street condition and a consequent spill into the sewer.

[Note to Councillor Lonc: please learn how to use your microphone so that interested members of the public don’t have such a hard time hearing what you have to say.]

P. McNally (Acting G.M; Environmental Engineering Services & City Engineer) was quick to dismiss the concern, since it’s a provincial project.

Councillor Orser scored some points with me when he quickly reminded the committee that the safety of citizens is one of Council’s responsibilities. He appears to think (as I do) that the city shouldn’t ignore a potential danger to citizens simply because it doesn’t appear to be at any legal risk.

Councillor MacDonald expressed a concern about the possibility of PCBs that might be trapped under the building and the risk that they might be released if there’s any disturbance to the building.

Mr. McNally reflected a lack of concern for citizen safety when he offered the simple rejoinder that “the building is not city property.”

Controller Hume took exception to the concerns raised by his colleagues and cited the $50M being spent by the MOE. His largest concern seems to be that the city not lose the current opportunity to have the province pay for the removal. He did not appear to have any misgivings about potential risk to citizens.


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