Port-Daniel Cement Plant | Minister Charette is losing patience

The cement plant, now called St Marys Cement, received advance notice on June 30, signed by Minister Benoit Charette. The Environment Ministry blames it for frequent dust emissions that exceed standards and is urging the polluter to rectify the situation.

Posted at 12:08 p.m

Andre Dubuc

Andre Dubuc
The press

As of May 31, 2022, the environment has identified 80 reports to Urgence-Environnement and 11 complaints about dust emissions or air quality from citizens living near the McInnis facility, we read in the advance notice.

In addition, between August 13, 2020 and September 8, 2021, there were at least 10 instances of equipment failures that resulted in dust emissions at the McInnis facility site.

Complaints about dust emissions from the cement plant have been making headlines in the region since summer 2020. Occasionally, sticky, coarse dust mixed with moisture clings to buildings and cars, Radio-Canada Gaspésie on June 30, 2021.


PHOTO ÉRICK LABBÉ, THE SUN

Environment Minister Benoit Charette

“Despite multiple allegations of non-compliance and an ongoing criminal investigation, the Department has had to explore other remedies at its disposal to rectify this situation. Therefore, the minister intends to issue an order to the company to force it to fix this problem. As required by the [loi]”The order must be preceded by a notice served on the company on June 30, 2022,” said the ministry’s press release released today.

Specifically, the notice calls on the cement plant to stop releasing dust into the environment above standards and submit an atmospheric pollutant control plan with a work plan to the ministry. The company has 15 days to make these comments. The Minister can then issue the order, taking into account any comments made by the company.

The cement plant is a project of Laurent Beaudoin’s family and the Caisse de dépôt, which suffered numerous cost overruns during construction. The cement plant went into operation in 2017. In 2021, Ciment McInnis was acquired by the world’s sixth largest cement producer, Votorantim Cimentos of Brazil. The Caisse de dépôt holds 17% of a joint venture in St Marys, which includes five cement plants, including the one in Gaspésie.

Over the years, the Caisse has poured almost half a billion into the cement works. As of December 31, his stake in the joint venture was worth $100-150 million.

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