Quebec Will Pay Millions To Relocate A Whole Neighbourhood Because Of Toxic Industrial Fumes
A group of Quebecers are going to lose their homes.
Quebec is enacting a plan to reduce the risk of toxic fume inhalation in Rouyn-Noranda and a group of households will have to give up their homes.
The newly announced action plan comes after summer 2022 reports revealed an elevated rate of lung cancer in the city and high arsenic emissions from the Fonderie Horne copper smelting plant.
The neighbourhood targeted for relocation is just south of the foundry campus, comprising approximately 100 properties (some of them appear to be vacant lots) between 9e Rue, avenue Portelance, 4e Rue and avenue Carter.
A map showing the area of the new "buffer zone" adjacent to the Fonderie Horne campus in Rouyn-Noranda.Government of Quebec
That area will become a "buffer" for the plant. Under an agreement with the government, foundry owner Glencore will buy the land at its own expense, demolish existing buildings and create a green zone.
A satellite image showing the area of the "buffer zone" adjacent to the Fonderie Horne campus in Rouyn-Noranda.Google Maps
Quebec, for its part, expects to spend $58 million to gradually move households into what it calls a "new neighbourhood with a better quality of life and a mix of housing types."
The Fonderie Horne will also be subject to new, lower emission targets.
Other measures outlined in the action plan include independent monitoring to ensure compliance with those targets, funding for research on the "impacts on health and the environment of the various contaminants emitted by the Fonderie Horne," and a new development plan for Rouyn-Noranda to equip the city with "various innovative and sustainable projects that will act as levers for the community's future and prosperity."