March 31, 2015

Environmental Committee Established for McInnis Cement Plant

Canada: Following a mediation session, McInnis Cement, the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE), the Conseil régional de l’environnement Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine (CREGIM) and Nature Québec have agreed to the creation of an Environmental Committee to monitor McInnis Cement’s plant in Gaspé, Quebec. The first meeting will be held as soon as possible. The mediation also led to specific commitments regarding greenhouse gases (GHG), emissions and impacts on marine mammals and aquatic fauna.

The mediation process resulted from the agreement with McInnis when the CQDE withdrew from the proceedings filed in August 2014 against the Environment Minister, in which McInnis Cement was a party. The role of the committee is to monitor environmental matters and issue recommendations. In addition to monitoring GHG emissions and emissions listed in the NESHAP 2015 US standards and monitoring the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) protocol on impacts on marine mammals and aquatic fauna, the committee will also address impacts on the physical environment, vegetation and wetlands, natural habitats and biodiversity, landscape, as well as any other environmental issue agreed to by the committee.

The committee will meet at least four times a year and report on its activities to the plant’s Citizen Liaison Committee. An independent facilitator will ensure the efficient functioning of the committee. The parties appointed Richard Loiselle, a former director of the École des pêches et de l’aquaculture du Québec as facilitator. In the event of a disagreement, the Honourable Jacques Blanchard was appointed as an independent mediator.

The Environmental Committee will be comprised of eight members; two citizens from the plant’s impact zone (one of which is a member of the cement plant’s Citizen Liaison Committee), a representative of the CREGIM, a representative of Nature Québec, a representative of the Centre d’initiation, de recherche et d’aide au développement durable (CIRADD), a representative of the ZIP Baie-des-Chaleurs committee, a representative of the Conseil de l’eau Gaspésie-Sud and a representative of McInnis Cement. A professional from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change (MSDEFCC) will also be invited to attend meetings.

Following the mediation process, McInnis Cement reiterated its commitment to use biomass to substitute a significant portion of its fuel requirements. It committed US$470,957 over the next three years towards feasibility or technical studies and projects to reduce GHG. McInnis Cement also confirmed its commitment to use selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) technology to reduce emissions from the plant and comply with NESHAP standards. As for the impacts on aquatic fauna, the committee will follow-up on the commitments agreed to in the protocol signed with DFO.

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