Meltdown At Turcot

Article in today’s Gazette discusses the Turcot snowpiles in regard to melting and contamination of the water.

“There might be a potential for contamination that could have been recognized by the Environment Ministry and the Transport Ministry,” said Yves Girard, head of Montreal’s snow removal co-ordination office, referring to the Turcot site. “But it’s a site that’s well waterproofed because it has been paved over – so any water, in theory, will melt toward the sewers and not into the soil.

“The risks aren’t high, but we never know.”

It is hard to say how much pollution is under the Turcot asphalt. It was a very busy yard from the coal burning era that was refiitted into a container yard in the early 1960’s. You can bet that CNR did not decontaminate the land, which it owned, but merely paved over. However, as a rail and container yard, and based upon personal observations, Turcot has an excellent drainage system in place (there was once Otter Lake in the east end and the Riviere Saint Pierre ran through it). Still, this is a site where snow was removed from until 2002, so it will be interesting to see how it holds up under these new conditions.

Phil Carpenter, The Gazette.

And it could certainly serve as a teaching aid to demonstrate how pollution exists in sometimes very appealing situations such as nice big, bright snowpiles.

3 responses to “Meltdown At Turcot

  1. What a difference a week makes. Driving past the piles this morning left me with a completely altered impression of those giant piles. From massive rows of white glorious powder, to disgusting heaps of garbage infested gray/brown waste.

    Also witnessed two sewer vacuum trucks working overtime to clear out the drains on the south side of the site… yup gonna be a whole lot of crap flowing out of that site.

  2. I noticed this week that there is a surprising amount of trash on the big snowpile at Thimens and Poirier in Saint Laurent. Birds hover like they would at a landfill. Must be stuff that got blown though as most of those piles are powder that was snowblown up there.

  3. The birds hovering calls to mind a great Tragically Hip verse from Locked in the Trunk of a Car…

    “It’s a cool, sweet kinda-place
    where the copters won’t spot it
    and I destroyed the map, I even thought I forgot it,
    however, every-day I’m dumping the body.”


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