PCBS illegal in the city center of Quebec

News 19 August, 2017
  • Anne Caroline Desplanques

    Friday, 18 August 2017 19:07

    Friday, 18 August 2017 19:07

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    An important promoter of Montreal was given a fine of 25 500 $ to have put in danger the health and the environment, with equipment filled with PCBS, toxic oil prohibited, in the very centre of the city of Quebec.

    Contaminated equipment, three transformers, were based on the 350, boulevard Charest East in the Saint-Roch district.

    All contained more than 500 mg/kg of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS), or ten times the amount tolerated.

    The owner of the Building of the Boulevard, which is installed to the premises of the Université Laval, is Isaac Gelber, president of the Group Gelber in Quebec.

    The company is an international conglomerate that owns buildings in Quebec, the United States and Europe.

    Five years of litigation

    Alerted by an informant, the federal ministry of the environment (Environment and climate Change in Canada [ECCC]) has mandated inspectors to be on site in march 2013.

    They immediately summoned Mr. Gelber to dispose of the equipment. The man, however, refused to cooperate and “knowingly made false or misleading statements,” says ECCC.

    It took more than five years of litigation for the business man pleads finally guilty before a judge, last week.

    The justice and sentenced, on the 1st of August, to pay a fine of 25 $ 500 for violating the canadian Law on the protection of the environment. The sum will be paid to the Fund for damage to the environment (FDE).

    No rejection

    The equipment have been removed from the building and the PCBS that they contained were “to be sent to an authorized service center to receive this type of waste,” says the spokesperson of the ECCC, Amélie Desmarais.

    Ottawa ensures that the PCBS did not reach the surrounding environment.

    The three processors in question “were in a closed building, and there was no rejection,” says Amélie Desmarais.

    The case was carried to the nose and the beard of the government of Quebec, which has known nothing.

    Questioned by The Newspaper, the spokesperson of the ministry of sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against climate change, Frédéric Fournier, indicates that you have no record concerning Isaac Gelber.

    Insulating liquids

    PCBS are synthetic chemicals. Until their ban in Canada, in 1977, they were used as insulating fluids in transformers and capacitors.

    A single installation is able to eliminate PCBS in the country. It is located in Alberta.

    Mr. Gelber has not recalled The Newspaper.