Sending contaminated soil to an authorized center for decontamination or environmentally friendly disposal is expensive. To save money, many dishonest entrepreneurs transport them to illegal landfill sites in the countryside, especially in agricultural areas.

These offenders now have the Quebec government on their heels.

Why implement more severe contaminated soil remediation policies?

Not that long ago, the Quebec government was not very strict in applying the laws and regulations governing contaminated soil remediation. 

Over the last few years, an illegal dumping site market developed. Criminal organizations were taking contaminated soil from several large construction sites and dumping it in the wilderness.

The police discovered a site that was so polluted that it could “cause mutations” in wild animals who lived nearby.

But it is never too late! The Legault government finally announced the end of the contaminated soil remediation neglect in April 2019 with the implementation of new policies, including a tracking system.

Trucks containing contaminated soil are now tracked

The new regulation increases control for every person who comes in contact with loads of contaminated soil, from the contractor to the landowners. This includes hazardous waste transport companies and contaminated soil treatment centres.

All procedures must now go through the "Traces Québec" system, a computerized platform developed by a group of environmental experts. This tool collects all data concerning the quantity of contaminated soil being handled, contamination level, specialized equipment used for hazardous waste transportation and their destination in real time.

Every vehicle is followed with a GPS tracker and must be weighed at departure and arrival to make sure that all contaminated soil reaches its destination. The customer is responsible for making sure that the soil is sent to a facility approved by the Quebec or Ontario Ministry of Environment.

The system’s alarm automatically rings if there are any abnormalities. For example, authorities are notified if a transport truck takes a questionable route to its destination, or if its load is not as heavy on arrival as it was on departure.

Heavy fines for polluters

Although some people have long been able to get away with illegally dumping contaminated soil without serious consequences, the new regulations are much more serious.

Polluters can now be fined much bigger amounts. A company who refuses to use the computerized system to record the required information may be fined $3 million and an individual acting alone can be fined up to $500,000.

EBI Enviro Urgence manages contaminated soils in full compliance

As a leader in environmental services in Quebec, EBI Enviro Urgence has welcomed this new contaminated soil remediation regulation with enthusiasm. If it has the intended effect, it will share our company’s mission of helping avoid many ecological disasters.

Contact us for your property decontamination if you want to make sure that the retrieval, transportation and disposal of contaminated soil is done in compliance with regulations.