Arsenic concentrations in the air around the CCR refinery decreased in 2019. Montréal’s regional public health department (DRSP) reports this finding in its second notice on arsenic in the air in east-end Montréal.
Despite the improvements observed last year, arsenic concentrations in the air were still above the provincial standard—a reference point—in two of three sampling stations located near the refinery. Although the DRSP considers the concentrations measured in those stations present a low health risk, it believes it is essential to keep up efforts to ensure the public is not exposed to concentrations about the provincial standard for a prolonged period.
The provincial standard sets the annual average maximum concentration of arsenic in ambient air at 3 ng/m3. The station located on the roof of Centre Édouard-Rivet and the one on the grounds of Chimie Parachem showed annual averages of 5.1 and 5.4 ng/m3 of arsenic respectively. The station in the BP Tétreaultville community garden recorded concentrations below average, that is, 2.8 ng/m3.
Public health notes that the CCR refinery followed the recommendations published by the DRSP in its first notice in 2018. The company has improved its facilities by installing a dust collector and two air sampling stations.
To keep reducing the public’s exposure to arsenic emissions in ambient air in that area, the DRSP recommends the following in its most recent notice
For the CCR refinery
- Over the short term, continue tracking metal concentrations in the air at the three sampling stations.
- Maintain mitigation measures over the long term to reduce arsenic concentrations in the air (dust collector, etc.).
For the City of Montréal
- Integrate, into the City’s air quality monitoring network (RSQA),tracking of metal concentrations in the air in this area, and make the data available to the public on the Internet.
- Ensure that other companies in the area respect the standards for arsenic emissions in the air.
For the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM)
- Integrate the annual standard (3 ng/m3) for arsenic concentrations in the air into the standards in place for the Island of Montréal to better reflect long-term exposures of the public to this type of pollutant.
To see the notice notice on arsenic emissions in the air in east-end Montréal in 2019 (in French)
- To see the 2018 report (in French)