A Gatineau company and its administrator will have to pay more than $247,380 to the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
In an official press release, the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) announced that Mr. Brian Forget and the Centre de tri Forget inc. of Gatineau (located at 33 Dumouchel Street) have been fined more than $247,380 for failing to comply with the Environment Quality Act (EQA). The Centre de tri Forget inc. and its administrator were found guilty, on June 3, 2022, of a total of ten violations towards the EQA, which frames various activities on Quebec territory according to their impact and environmental footprint. In force since March 2018, this law aims to "provide Quebec with a clear, predictable, optimized authorization system that meets the highest standards of environmental protection." The EQA also provides for the use of declarations of conformity for contractors who wish to undertake a project with potential environmental impacts.
According to the press release distributed by the MELCC on July 15, Mr. Forget's company and Mr. Forget have contravened several sections of the EQA for events that took place mostly in 2021. On January 13 and 19, 2021, the Centre de tri Forget inc. which at the time held an authorization from the MELCC for its activities, contravened this authorization by storing residual materials in unauthorized areas located outside the center (contravening section 123.1 of the EQA). Brian Forget was found guilty of the same offense for the designated period. Following these events, the company operated a waste disposal facility without authorization twice, on April 12 and May 26, 2021 (in violation of section 22 of the EQA). Brian Forget was found guilty of the same offense for the same dates. The derogation on two occasions of order number 702 attributed to Centre de tri Forget inc. by the Minister, which ordered it to "cease depositing residual materials outside authorized storage areas and to proceed with the restoration of the premises on lots [...] of the cadastre of Quebec, registration division of Hull", constitutes the last two infractions of the EQA (section 115.32). Mr. Brian Forget was also found guilty of the same offenses on the same dates, namely August 10 and 16, 2021. These are expensive violations for Brian Forget and his company, who will have to pay fines of $55,000 and $105,000 respectively to the MELLC, in addition to fees and applicable contributions of $29,661 and $57,719 respectively.
These are not the first setbacks of the Centre de tri Forget inc. with the MELCC. Since 2019, the center in question has received three notices of non-compliance and five official inspections from the MELLC, which, following three complaints made against the center's activities, finds that materials and residues have been buried in the soil of the site. In April 2021, Gabriel Machado, from the MELCC's Direction régionale de l'analyse et de l'expertise de l'Outaouais, signed a professional opinion in which he mentioned that the landfill activities of the Centre de tri Forget inc. could have contaminated the surrounding water and soil.