Dust that swept across the St. Clair River and over Sarnia following the implosion of the Marysville power plant is being tested for the presence of asbestos.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change had an officer on the Canadian shore to watch when U.S. demolition experts brought down the former coal-fired power plant on Nov. 7.
“He did not observe any asbestos fibres or fugitive dust in the community, but as a precaution we did take a couple of samples from homes,” said spokesperson Kate Jordan.
‘Certainly, there was some concern expressed on behalf of the community regarding the dust impacts.”
The dramatic implosion was witnessed by large crowds who lined the Canadian shore for the Saturday morning spectacle.
After charges were detonated the 93-year-old structure collapsed on itself, sending a slow rolling cloud of smoke and dust across the river that came ashore near the north end of Aamjiwnaang and the Suncor Energy refinery.
“We did also do some air monitoring out of concern for the safety of our employees,” said Suncor spokesperson Jennifer Johnson, “but at this point we haven’t received the results back.”
On the U.S. side, the dust stayed within property boundaries.
Swabs of dust the ministry took from two homes in the impacted area were sent to a laboratory for analysis, Jordan said.
“We hope to have the results back as soon as possible.”
The Marysville plant opened in 1922 to produce power for Detroit. The property was decommissioned by DTE Energy and placed on the market in 2012.
Contractors had reportedly removed the asbestos and much of the structure had already been demolished when the remaining boiler house and stacks were imploded on Nov. 7.
Marysville officials have unveiled a proposal for the 22-acre site that includes a five-story hotel, condominiums, restaurants and retail space with a marina and riverfront promenade.