Nickel dust polluting the waters of the St. Lawrence

Nickel dust polluting the waters of the St. Lawrence

Danger_environmentQuebec City (Quebec) 01 September, 2014 – Environment Canada is on the lookout for any traces of nickel which may be finding its way into the river and surrounding areas of the port and Limoilou. The problem may be with the transport of nickel from Labrador to Quebec City’s Beauport port facility.

A boat called the Umiak l hauls nickel from Voisy’s Bay to Quebec on a regular basis and the inspectors are studying the way the nickel powder is unloaded from the ship onto trains suspecting that some of the dust may be filtering out into the air during the procedure.

Water samples were taken in June of this year in and around Baie de Beauport to verify if there are indeed any indications of nickel contaminating the water. Some people claimed that the transfer of the nickel may have been the source of the red powder that was circulating in and around the borough of Limoilou in the past few summers.

Although nickel is classified as a toxic substance, there are no controls in place to govern the implication it could have on drinking water or on the environment in Quebec. Nickel dust was a huge problem for the environment in Sudbury, Ontario back in the sixties until a new way was found to contain the material when it was being processed or manipulated.

No results have so far been released concerning the samples taken during the summer from Environment Canada.

Life in Québec staff writer

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