GROBEC welcomes action plan for asbestos and asbestos mining tailings

GROBEC welcomes action plan for asbestos and asbestos mining tailings

The Group de concertation des bassins versants de la zone Bécancour (GROBEC) welcomes the action plan 2022-2025 for asbestos and asbestos mining waste, presented by the Quebec government at Thetford Mines on Thursday 16 June.

Creating a National Observatory on Asbestos is responsible for ensuring consultation with local actors and scientific studies on the impact of asbestos in water. GROBEC seeks remedial and rehabilitative measures announced there to enable the implementation of the recommendations made in the Control Plan for Asbestos Contaminants in the Haute-Bécancour Mining Area 2022-2027.

This Asbestos Mining Tailing Control Plan (RMA) aims to retain about a dozen asbestos mining tailings on the former Thetford Mines asbestos mine sites. More specifically, the mines of Normandy, British Canadian, King Beaver and Lock de Amien. It was developed in collaboration with fifteen local and regional partners. To date, it has received formal support for Gran, the owner of the Lock de Amien mine, from most of its participants in its development, including the MRC des Appalachians, the City of Thatford Mines and the Saint-Joseph-de Municipality. -Collereine and Ireland as well as the Irish Trout Lake Protection Association.

This asbestos sediment control plan proposes solutions that include asbestos-containing mine tailings in the mining area, preventing them from ending up on the Beaconcore River and its tributaries, the Lacos a la Truit de Ireland and William. Keep in mind that these asbestos-containing wastes can cause damage to the Beacon River and its river lakes. The study of Messrs. Jacques and Pianist, from the Department of Geography at Laval University, demonstrated that mountains of mine tailings erode and emit large amounts of debris and asbestos fibers. These are carried along the Beacon River and rapidly fill up these 2 lakes, causing them to age prematurely. Within a few decades, Lake Irish Trout, already in pain, was in danger of disappearing. In addition, although the water quality of asbestos does not currently exist in Quebec, as a precautionary principle, this ore should not escape independently from previous mining sites.

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GROBEC also proposes to restore the old course of the Bekancore River and the former Lock Noir, now the Lock de Amien mine pit. Recall that Lac Noir was drained from 1955 to 1959 to make way for asbestos mining. The Bekancore River, which crossed it, also diverted more than 2 km at that time. MM. Jacques and Peanuts from Laval University proved that before it was dredged, Locknor allowed the asbestos-containing debris from the Thetford Mines and Black Lake to settle there. Today, the reconstruction of the Beaconcore River Basin into the Locke de Amien Pit can, in addition to reducing the amount of asbestos-containing debris that this river carries to Irish Trout and Lake William, create something interesting. Aquatic creatures and potential vacationers, fishermen and boatmen.

Finally, GROBEC argues that the implementation of the Quebec Government’s 2022-2025 Asbestos Action Plan should enable the adoption of a plan to rehabilitate mining sites and the enactment of legislation that would provide financial guarantees to the government. This is done before the recovery of asbestos-containing mining waste. It is imperative that the Environmental Quality Act be applied to RMA recovery activities from now on. These measures will avoid the recurrence of past mistakes and ensure a better future for the Beacon River, Trout and William Lakes and the inhabitants of the area.

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