Top Quebec Air Polluters Revealed

Latest data show most reported pollution in Quebec is dumped into the air

Top Quebec Air Polluters Revealed
Latest data show most reported pollution in Quebec is dumped into the air

Ottawa, Ontario ? Companies in Quebec emitted more than 727 million kilograms of air pollution in 2003, most of it associated with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis, says a new Quebec pollution overview released today by Environmental Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association. That ranks Quebec #3 in Canada , after Alberta and Ontario , for reported air releases in Canada .

The analysis, completed using the newly-updated web site http://www.PollutionWatch.org , is based on data submitted by companies to Environment Canada for its national reporting program ? the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI). The 2003 data are the most recently available.

?This information demonstrates that both federal and provincial pollution laws are failing Canadians,? said Paul Muldoon, Executive Director, Canadian Environmental Law Association. ?These pollutants affect the health of all Canadians. Emission reductions by Canadian industry are desperately needed.?

The top 12 Dirty Dozen Quebec Air Polluters were responsible for much of the combined air pollution ? releases of toxic pollutants, such as mercury and lead, and releases of Criteria Air Contaminants, responsible for smog and acid rain.

Dirty Dozen Quebec Air Polluters (as reported to the National Pollutant Release Inventory, 2003)

Rank Facility Company Name Air Releases of Combined Pollutants 2003 (kg) National Ranking

1

Usine Alma Alcan Inc.

69,313,840

7

2

Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc.

67,937,464

8

3

Fonderie Horne Noranda Inc.

64,123,924

10

4

Usine Arvida Alcan Inc.

52,861,888

16

5

Aluminerie de Baie-Comeau Alcoa

41,672,907

20

6

Usine Laterriere Alcan Inc.

37,715,700

21

7

Usine Grande-Baie Alcan Inc.

36,214,870

22

8

Usine de Sept-Îles Aluminerie Alouette Inc.

29,270,193

27

9

Région Québec-Atlantique Molson Canada

23,973,085

35

10

Usine de Deschambault Compagnie de Gestion Alcoa-Lauralco

23,964,156

36

11

Usine Shawinigan Alcan Inc.

20,411,495

38

12

Centrale de Tracy Hydro-Québec

18,343,705

41

The PollutionWatch web site also ranks facilities and companies in Quebec and across Canada that release and transfer pollutants linked with cancer, respiratory illnesses, reproductive or developmental harm and hormone disruption, as well as pollutants considered toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

Using www.PollutionWatch.org the groups also analyzed trends in releases and transfers of pollutants in Quebec between 1995 and 2003, the years for which NPRI data is available. The analysis found:

  • For core pollutants and core facilities that have been reported consistently between 1995 and 2003, total releases and transfers decreased by 12% (from 23,662,082 kilograms in 1995 to 20,748,693 kilograms in 2003). Air releases of core pollutants from core facilities decreased by 10% (from 9,560,881 in 1995 to 8,619,212 kilograms in 2003).
  • For core pollutants only, total releases and transfers increased by 72% between 1995 and 2003 (from 26,760,732 kilograms in 1995 to 45,946,002 kilograms in 2003). Air Releases of core pollutants increased by 26% (from 10,561,358 kilograms in 1995 to 13,281,540 kilograms in 2003). Core pollutants looks only at those pollutants that have been consistently reported from 1995 to 2003; the analysis does not account for increases in the number of facilities reporting to NPRI over time.

?Smog days are becoming the new normal in many parts of Canada ,? said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. ?The lack of federal leadership on pollution reduction harms the health of Canadians on a daily basis.?

The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, Canada ‘s national pollution law, is set to undergo its legally-required 5-year review this fall. Environmental Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association are calling on the federal government to take the lead in significantly reducing pollution across Canada , beginning with:

•  virtually eliminating releases of carcinogens to the air and water by 2008;

•  ensuring that pollution prevention targets receive significant consideration and discussion in the upcoming CEPA review;

•  increasing the number of facilities preparing and implementing pollution prevention plans; and

•  ensuring resources are directed to enhance and expand the NPRI program.

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