An estimated 1500 tons of soil contaminated with creosote was dumped on the Verdun waterfront last fall, in the linear park across from the Douglas Hospital.
The mayor says he only found out about it recently and residents were not informed.
“I don’t feel good about this, if there’s something wrong with the soil don’t put it there, I wasn’t aware, I’m going to call the city and tell them to do something about it,” a man walking his dog in the park told CJAD.
“We walk here every morning, this is not something we want, but I didn’t know about it," a jogger said.
“This is awful, they’re not thinking about our kids, ourr animals," another park visitor added.
The soil was excavated from a LaSalle Boulevard reconstruction site last fall.
Crews were permitted to dump he soil in the park for the winter in order to avoid delaying the road project.
Verdun councillor Pierre L’Heureux says the decision was made by city workers. He says the mayor only found out two weeks ago during a meeting with city engineers.
“We can call this a breakdown in communication between city workers and the political staff. The city workers took for granted that we knew but we didn’t know,” l’Heureux told CJAD.
He added that a security fence would be placed around the toxic soil within days and that it will be removed within three weeks.
Ironically, the site chosen is a former snow dump that was shut down by the Environment Ministry because of worries about contaminated water seeping into the river.
A tarp was placed on the creosote-tainted soil to prevent run-off, but the plastic deteriorated during the winter.