Nickel Dust in Limoilou - PORT OF QUÉBEC TAKING EXCEPTIONAL MEASURES
Québec, April 15, 2013 – The Québec Port Authority (QPA) received the results of the report by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs (MDDEFP), which identifies certain activities that take place on its territory as the probable source of nickel in the air in Limoilou.
The QPA is announcing the immediate implementation of exceptional control measures. “We are committed to continue doing whatever is needed to correct all potentially problematic situations and lay the concerns of the people of Limoilou to rest,” stated Mario Girard, President and CEO of the Port of Québec.
These new measures have to do with activities involving nickel, as well as the operations carried out on the Port of Québec’s territory as a whole. The measures will complement those currently in effect as well as those planned for the short term; the objective is to curb the negative impacts of potential dust emissions outside Port facilities. These measures apply to all parties involved in nickel transportation at the Port of Québec, whether by ship, road or rail. These exceptional measures consist of requiring our operators: • To immediately cease solid bulk cargo transfer operations as soon as the wind speed and/or direction is at risk of carrying dust emissions outside the QPA territory • To systematically clean all transportation and maintenance vehicles (including railway cars) that are to leave the solid bulk cargo terminal • To spray water continuously during handling operations that pose a risk of dust emission The QPA will also ensure the continuous presence of a Port of Québec patroller assigned exclusively to the transfer areas. T
his patroller will have the necessary authority to halt operations if a problem appears. In order to complement the efforts put forth by government bodies, the QPA has also hired experts to shed full light on this issue. Their analyses have not yet been completed. “I have confidence that the measures and mechanisms we have implemented, as well as all actions undertaken so far by our partners, will effectively curb the negative impacts of potential dust emissions outside Port facilities,” explains Mario Girard.
The QPA continues to work closely with all those involved in this issue and is pleased that the initial comments of the Direction régionale de santé publique were reassuring with respect to short-term health risks. Note that the exceptional measures presented today will remain in force at least until the completion of the plan detailing various mitigation measures, which was started several weeks ago by the QPA and its solid bulk cargo operator, St. Lawrence Stevedoring (SLS).
Also note that the Port of Québec already committed to installing a dust emission monitoring system last November, and will soon be installing about ten dust collectors to be distributed all over its territory. Other measures will be undertaken in collaboration with SLS as part of a continuous improvement process to ensure that the highest standards are met on the territory of the Port of Québec. For example, SLS is in the process of investing $7 million in equipment and infrastructure (water cannons, dust collectors, wash stations, reconfigured road access to handling areas, etc.) in order to minimize the negative effects of dust emissions that may spread outside Port facilities. “The Port is taking this situation very seriously. When I was appointed two years ago, I expressed my wish that the Port become a leader in sustainable development. We will spare no effort to reach this objective,” concludes Mario Girard.
For additional information and interview requests:
Anick Métivier Assistant Director, Communications and Public Relations
Québec Port Authority