Quebec government to spend millions to move residents affected by smelter pollution

ROUYN-NORANDA, Que. — The Quebec government will provide $88.3 million to support the city of Rouyn-Noranda in the creation of a new neighbourhood and the relocation of nearly 200 families living in an area contaminated by smelter pollution.

Glencore, the company that owns the copper smelter, will buy the properties and land from willing sellers in the contaminated area.

The households are currently being exposed to arsenic emissions from the Horne smelter.

Provincial officials said today nobody will be forced to move and community members will be able to live in their dwellings until their new homes are ready.

The province does not yet know where the new neighbourhood will be located and says the project could take several years.

The company will also be required to reduce its emissions to meet a target of 15 nanograms per cubic metre by 2027, down from a level of 100 nanograms per cubic metre that was permitted under a 2017 agreement with the province.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2023.

The Canadian Press