Foul water

Published: Wednesday 15 May 2002

river pollution has threatened beluga whale populations and made fish eating a health risk in Montreal.

St Lawrence river is reeling under excessive industrial pollution. Montreal's Technoparc Saint-Laurent, an industrial house, near Dorval Airport site is discharging toxic chemicals into the river.

The chemicals include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in concentrations that exceed government guidelines by more than 8.5 million times.

These findings have been brought to the fore by the Environmental Bureau of Investigation (EBI), a nonprofit investigative agency and presented to members of Environment Canada's police force.

Leachate from the industrial site is one of the most significant sources of PCBs and other toxic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS) in the river. Federal laws such as the Canada Fisheries Act prohibit the discharge of toxic levels of PCBs and PAHs into waterways.

Biologist David Dillenbeck says that remedial measures must be taken to protect and upgrade the water quality of St Lawrence.

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