In an announcement made at the Verdun Cultural Centre on Sunday, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante disclosed plans to decontaminate 62 sites on Montreal Island. These mainly consist of former landfills, garbage dumps and industrial quarries, which now lie under residentially zoned land.
Quebec’s Environment Ministry estimates that 20% of the province’s contaminated land is located in Montreal. To help tackle this issue the provincial government has provided a $75 million budget.
Montreal has yet to decide exactly how to spend the allocated money. One way would be to provide private companies with the opportunity to receive funding for their help in decontaminating the sites. According to Plante, 75% of the costs will be covered by the provincial budget and the rest will be fundraised from other parties. She aims to unveil the full plan in the coming months.
In 2015, CBC Montreal had reported that close to 80 sites across Montreal contained contaminated soil. These areas now host homes, schools and public parks, posing a threat to the health of associated residents. A significant amount of people living directly above former landfills were unaware of their home’s contamination.
It comes as a relief that the City of Montreal’s has released a map identifying the exact locations of 62 contaminated sites, which they will aim to decontaminate in the coming years. More than half of these sites are located in residential areas.
Browse the map below to check whether your home or neighbourhood is located on a contaminated site.
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