The environmental management of Lac Mégantic (Quebec, Canada) Case Study: multidisciplinary research and practical lessons to be learned
Department of Civil and Water Engineering, Laval University, Quebec, Canada & Senate Canadian Government
On the night of July 5, 2013, a freight train carrying light crude oil from North Dakota derailed in the town of Lac-Mégantic (Quebec, Canada), causing explosions, fires and the spill of 7000m3 of oil. This catastrophe resulted in 47 human deaths, the destruction of the city's downtown and substantial environmental pollution. Indeed, oil infiltrated soils and contaminated Lac-Mégantic (lake) and the Chaudière River. Floating oil was observed up to 186 km from Lac-Mégantic in the direction of the St. Lawrence River. This emergency is considered the worst case of an inland oil spill in North America. Remediation actions included excavation and biotreatment of contaminated urban soils and monitoring of contaminated water and sediments along the Chaudiere River (200 km). – A multidisciplinary group of researchers initiated a vast research program in order to use this case as a learning instrument for various environmental studies that included emergency actions, environmental impact evaluation and remediation strategies. This presentation aims to present the emergency, and ongoing research on environmental impacts, quality monitoring and remediation treatments. This case is used to illustrate the various scientific areas that contribute to solve an environmental problem.
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