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Northern Ont. residents concerned about new plastic plant

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A new plastic plant has opened on industrial land on Wallace Road in North Bay, Ont.

It is called Industrial Plastics Canada (IPC) and remanufactures plastics.

Following a viral TikTok video, some citizens have expressed concerns about the chemicals – specifically polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAs – being produced at the plant.

"Environment Canada, you know their litmus for what is safe exposure to PFAs, I think is like 30 nanograms per litre. And I think that the North Bay and the municipal area is already like 60," said James Loafs, the environmental activist who posted the video about the new plant.

"So is bringing in another PFAs plant at this point really -- or you know anything to do with PFAs at all -- in the North Bay area, is that really a smart thing to do? I would say 'no.'"

The video has been viewed more than 400,000 times on the popular social media app since it was posted four days ago.

The city is turning down any concerns people have and said the new plant is the same as any other already built.

"It’s no different than any other plant we presently have in North Bay or anywhere in northern Ontario," said North Bay mayor Peter Chirico.

"With everything that is required to be done, they’ve been following the letter of the law."

Area residents said they worry that the lakes in the area and municipal water will be affected by the plant.

"There is no discharge from the factory whatsoever. As a matter of fact, they’re not even hooked up to sewage," said Chirico.

"So there’s no effluent that will be discharged. They have their separate bed, which is inspected, which must be tested, all of these types of things."

No one from IPC was made available for an interview with CTV News, but the company president issued a statement.

"The North Bay IPC facility boasts state-of-the-art processes that are entirely enclosed and fully recyclable, resulting in zero environmental impact," the statement reads in part.

"No water from our manufacturing process is discharged into any lakes, streams or other bodies of water. Additionally, no material waste is produced during the process."

The company says that the Ministry of the Environment has been to the plant and everything was deemed safe and approved. 

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