The municipality of Ormstown will be installing three observation wells to monitor groundwater quality near municipal wells 6 and 8 on agricultural land in Franklin.
A resolution passed during an extraordinary municipal council meeting on May 15 mandates the firm Solmatech to install the observation wells and test the water, to ensure there is no contamination from backfill that was dumped near the municipal wells. The resolution follows a ruling issued on May 8 by Judge Alexander Pless of the Quebec Superior Court allowing Ormstown to proceed with the work to monitor its water source.
Ormstown filed an injunction last summer against property owners Jeannine Clément and Louis Drapeau, who accepted loads of backfill for leveling work that was later found to be contaminated, as well as against the municipality of Franklin, which issued a permit authorizing the backfill work. Lawyers for Ormstown have argued the monitoring work is necessary to protect the drinking water of its citizens and that there is an urgent need to remove the toxic soil.
Two separate soil analyses concluded the quality of the backfill deposited on the property was contaminated to A-B and B-C levels, and a remediation order has been issued by the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changement climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs requiring the contaminated land be removed. The property owners are not contesting these facts, but they argue the work to remediate the land should not be done at their expense, and have implicated Crête Excavation Inc. and the municipality of Franklin in the proceedings.
The case, which is being disputed at the Salaberry-de-Valleyfield courthouse, is ongoing and a final judgement relating to the removal of the soil, fault, and damages incurred has yet to be rendered.