This practice was actually fairly common not very long ago, until the 1980’s when people began to reject the idea. However, the city of Montreal dumped in the river just six years ago, according to City of Montreal spokesman Philippe Sabourin.
“There is no other possible choice. The river has a huge dilution capacity, with a flow rate of 6,000 to 7,000 cubic meters per second. It isn’t a major environmental concern,” Sabourin said.
However, even he admitted that the dump could cause a potential problem for fishermen and other people who actually use and interact with the river on a regular basis.
Environmental experts in the area have suggested that there must be another solution, like perhaps pumping the sewage into another container or pipeline while the construction project is being completed.
“It’s hard to believe there is no other mitigation measure that could be put in place to avoid untreated wastewater from being dumped directly into the river for a week. Wouldn’t it be possible to pump the wastewater into another sewer line temporarily, to avoid polluting the river? Isn’t it possible to come up with a portable water treatment method, some way of screening? Is it not possible to ask industries in the area to temporarily stop putting noxious materials into the sewer system?“ Sylvain Ouellet of Projet Montréal told CBC.
US lawmakers in New York have raised concerns that the dumping project could actually contaminate US waterways. New York senator Patty Ritchie recently published a letter on her website, calling for an investigation of the planned waste dump.
“The City of Montreal plans to dump the equivalent of 2,600 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with wastewater from homes and businesses into North America’s most beautiful river. While I realize that the dumping will occur in Canadian waters, downstream from any U.S. communities, I am very concerned by the precedent Montreal is setting for other communities along the St. Lawrence and the lakes,” Richie wrote in her letter.
The dump is scheduled to go on as planned on October 18.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
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