July 9, 2008

Quebec Frets Over New York State Dump

Several small border communities in Quebec fear plans to expand an upstate New York dump will contaminate their water supply, officials said.

The existing dump is about 100 acres in Westville, N.Y., some 3 miles south of the border, and authorities want to expand it to 600 acres, the Gazette newspaper in Montreal reported.

The mayors of several small Quebec villages told the newspaper wells would eventually be contaminated by dump run-off into the Chateauguay River and major agricultural damage would follow.

Elgin Mayor Jean-Pierre Proulx told the newspaper he suspects U.S. officials deliberately chose a border location because of run-off concerns.

Nowhere in any of the planning documents is there a mention of Canada or Quebec, Proulx said. We don't exist.

A Quebec environment ministry spokesman said New York will be having public hearings and residents of Quebec border towns could participate as stipulated in various international agreements.