Dust in Limoilou: Quebec Stevedoring and the Port of Quebec Point Road Transportation

The excessive dusts complained of by residents of Limoilou come not from the bulk handling operations of the Port of Quebec, but rather from the road network, according to Arrimage Québec and the Quebec Port Authority (QPA).
Thee judge Jacques G. Bouchard of the Superior Court on Monday began hearing the second trial in class action against Quebec Stevedoring and DPA. While the first trial concerned only the episode of red dust that occurred on October 25, 2012, the second refers to the recurring problem of dust that 38,000 residents of the lower town live since 2010.

The plaintiffs, Véronique Lalande and Louis Duchesne, are claiming compensatory damages for disturbances and inconveniences as well as punitive damages for undermining their right to a healthy environment guaranteed by the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. They charge $ 1,000 per year per affected citizen.

The petitioners also seek an injunction against Compagnie Arrimage Québec to force it to stop issuing dust and contaminants that exceed the standards. For Arrimage Quebec’s lawyer, Sylvain Chouinard, “what is being asked of Arrimage is to operate on bases that do not exist anywhere else in the world”.

On Monday, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, François Pinard-Thériault, stressed that the latter “would not be there if the problem was anecdotal”. “From 2010 to today, there have been multiple episodes where dust has invaded the Limoilou district,” pleaded Mr. Pinard-Thériault, who attributes these episodes to the bulk handling operations of the Port of Quebec. According to him, the mitigation measures put in place by Arrimage Québec and the Port of Québec are clearly insufficient. “Our contention is that they have not adopted the best practices,” he said.

Prosecutors from Arrimage Québec and the APQ both recalled that the area covered by the action is located approximately 1.5 km from the port facilities, in a “highly industrialized” urban environment and “surrounded by a transportation network. heavy”.

In this regard, counsel for the QPA, Mr. Vincent Rochette, indicated that between August 3, 2017 and August 6, 2018, dust samples had been collected from 24 collection points located in the interior and at the same time. outside the area concerned by the appeal. The results revealed that more than 97% of this dust did not come from the bulk handling activities of the Port of Quebec, he said.

According to these experts, it is road transport that would be “the most responsible” for dust, especially abrasives and de-icing salts that, in the spring, “are released with the wind and the passage of vehicles”, said Me Rochette. “There is also the architecture of the neighborhoods which exposes the residents more to the dust that comes from the transport,” he added.

The plaintiffs announced Monday morning three residents of Limoilou annoyed by the problem of dust. All described gray dust “sticky” or “abrasive”, and difficult to clean. Balconies and balcony furniture are “always dirty”, as are windows and window sills, they said. All three agreed that they had not analyzed the nature of the dust.

One of the witnesses, Chloé Barabé, who lives in the Convent Loft on 8th Avenue, said she had washed her windows “three or four times” this summer. “If we do not wash them, the light is no longer in our unit,” she said.

Three other residents were to be heard in the afternoon. In total, about 60 citizens of the lower town will testify during the trial, scheduled until December. The witnesses from the Port of Quebec, including former CEO Ross Gaudreault and current CEO Mario Girard, will then be heard.

More details to come

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