Glencore’s Proposed Application for Renewal of the Ministerial Authorization for the Horne Smelter
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Plusieurs modes de participation sont possibles, sur la plateforme gouvernementale (sondages, propositions, débats, rencontres…), et les consultations peuvent comporter différentes étapes, qui sont prédéterminées selon les besoins. En tout temps, la plateforme vous informera de l’étape en cours et de celles à venir, s’il y a lieu.
Owned by Glencore, the Horne Smelter began operations in Rouyn-Noranda in 1927. The plant produces copper anodes from copper concentrates and recovered materials. The company employs hundreds of workers. However, the smelter’s activities are not without environmental and public health consequences.
The renewal of Glencore’s Ministerial Authorization (formerly called a “Remediation Certificate”) for Horne Smelter operations comes at a pivotal moment, as it sets the facility’s environmental protection obligations for the next five years.
Terms of the public consultation
Before officially ruling on the forthcoming compliance requirements for the Glencore Horne Smelter, the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) is holding a public consultation. Interested parties can express their opinions and concerns by filling out a questionnaire or submitting a brief.
In addition, an in-person session will be held in Rouyn-Noranda, towards the end of the consultation period, making it possible for people who could not participate in the online consultation, to express their views. Session details will be made public at a later date.
All briefs and comments submitted online and during the in-person session will be summarized and made public after the consultation concludes. The MELCC will use this information to finalize its review. The government intends to make a decision on the renewal of Glencore’s Ministerial Authorization to operate the Horne Smelter by late fall 2022.
If you have questions about this public consultation, please contact us at email@example.com.
Purpose of the consultation
Reiterating that public health is of paramount consideration, the MELCC is proposing to impose an annual average ambient air arsenic concentration compliance ceiling of 15 nanograms per cubic metre (ng/m3) on Glencore for the operation of the Horne Smelter in Rouyn-Noranda, consistent with the benchmarks set by public health authorities on August 10, 2022. This would be an important first step towards compliance with the Québec standard of 3 ng/m3. The purpose of the consultation is to gauge the level of public agreement on the initial 15 ng/m3 requirement and the five-year timeframe for achieving it.
With respect to other requirements that may be incorporated into the terms of the permit, the MELCC also wishes to consult with the public regarding the Horne Smelter reductions announced by Glencore in its most recent action plan. Interested parties are invited to review the performance targets for lead, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and sulphur dioxide, for which progressive reductions are planned. For other metals, compliance with Schedule K (French only) of the Clean Air Regulation will be mandatory.
Although this consultation focuses more specifically on the factors affecting ambient air quality, it is important to mention that the MELCC will require Glencore to continue the characterization and decontamination of local lands, primarily those located in the Notre-Dame district, in accordance with current standards and requirements, among other things. The MELCC will also install new sampling stations, whose measurements will both factor into the next Ministerial Authorization and improve air quality monitoring.
The following key documents (mostly available only in french) may be useful when filling out the “Express Your Opinion” tab in the questionnaire:
Demande d’autorisation ministérielle (May 20, 2022)
Plan d’action de Glencore pour la Fonderie Horne (August 30, 2022) (full version)
Horne Smelter Environmental Improvement Plan by Glencore (August 30, 2022) (summary)
Modélisation d’arsenic pour le périmètre urbain de Rouyn-Noranda – 2027
Press release - Minister Benoit Charette outlines key environmental requirements the government is proposing to impose on the Horne Foundry (August 15, 2022)
Repères fixés par les autorités de santé publique
Summary of Public Health Authority positions [document available in October].
Numerous other documents (French only) produced since the most recent Remediation Certificate (former name of the “Ministerial Authorization”) was issued in 2017 are available for interested readers. They deal mainly with environmental, health and economic issues as well as the work of the interdepartmental committee on the Horne Smelter Action Plan and land use planning.
New documents are added regularly to the Documentation for the consultation page.