Crowd small, but angry, at meeting about Dofasco
<!– PUBLISH DATE TimeSincePublished(“2010-05-21-04:30:00″,”2010-05-21″,”May. 21, 2010”);–> Daniel Nolan, The Hamilton Spectator
(May 21, 2010)
Environment ministry officials took it on the chin last night from east Hamilton residents upset the agency is aiming to let ArcelorMittal Dofasco meet alternative air-quality standards.
Only about 60 people attended the ministry meeting at the Barton Street East legion, but Lorna Moreau said that was because her neighbours are fed up and believed the ministry wouldn’t push it to the limit with the steel giant.
“They knew they’d get alternative standards,” said Moreau, who has complained about soot and odours impacting her home for the past several years. “They just knew they’d get it.”
The ministry aimed to hold a public information centre, which allows officials to speak to pockets of residents.
Environment Hamilton members, however, insisted on a regular public meeting. They marched into the hall and told ministry officials they were now taking part in a question-and-answer session with the crowd. Ministry officials complied. Some citizens wore red T-shirts, with such comments as “Stop Pollution,” and “Profits over Health.”
Ministry spokesman Scott Burton explained the province has created new, stringent, science-based pollution measures, but recognizes some firms need time to meet them because the technology might not exist. ArcelorMittal Dofasco has submitted an action plan to meet alternative standards, which the ministry has accepted. It has been vetted by experts from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It aims to spend $16 million in the next five years to reduce benzo (a) pyrene by 27 per cent, benzene by 82 per cent, sulphur by 20 per cent and suspended particulate (dust) by 4 per cent.
The company said in a statement last night it runs a state-of-the-art operation, but it’s always striving for improvements
“Our five-year improvement targets are levels that we know we can meet with current available technology,” said the company.
Some residents believed they wouldn’t get alternatives if their cars did not meet emission standards. Some said the pollution has gotten worse.
In the 1960s she could hang out her washing with no worries, Joyce Chapman said, adding: “Now I can’t because of the soot floating around the city.”
Barb LaFleshe said residents want the ministry to just stop odours and soot.
“We’re telling you this has to end,” she said.
stop the stink
Here’s the local daily’s coverage of the Dofasco event: