Despite the current situation, the Québec government is maintaining Since the start of the pandemic, the Québec government has maintained its service in a manner appropriate to the situation to ensure the enforcement of environmental legislation by verifying the compliance of activities that could cause damage to the environment, citizens and property. 

With the gradual resumption of certain activities in Québec, the Québec government is also adjusting its environmental monitoring. 

Inspections

During the confinement, inspections have continued in situations where there is a significant risk for environmental quality or the health and safety of the population, and these inspections will remain a priority. 

The presence of inspectors on site will increase as a result of the gradual resumption of regular inspections, which will comply with government directives in force. 

Given the special safety rules to be followed regarding COVID-19, inspectors will be asked to contact clients before conducting an inspection so long as it does not affect the quality of the inspection. However, some situations require intervention without prior notice. 

Furthermore, in collaboration with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST - labour standards, pay equity, occupational health and safety commission), inspectors are part of the government prevention team whose goal is to inform employers and workers and make them aware of the health standards to implement in the workplace in order to reduce and control the spread of COVID-19. In this regard, inspectors will do follow-up or visit workplaces simultaneously with their environmental monitoring. 

Legal obligations of clients

Legal obligations remain. 

All clients (municipalities, farmers, industries, businesses, etc.) must do their utmost to avoid harming the environment. 

The government will be lenient with clients that have environmental obligations and whose activities are affected by the restrictions implemented. This is particularly the case with respect to monitoring administrative obligations (for example, filing reports or balance sheets). 

Handling breaches

If non-compliance situations are found, the Québec government will assess the consequences for each breach based on the rules that are in force but will take into account the current situation and the contextual factors specific to each case. This should have an impact on the number of administrative monetary penalties issued. 

Contact information

If you encounter problems or particular situations, contact your regional branch of the Québec Environmental Control Centre, which will be able to assist you in identifying what action to take depending on the circumstances.

Want to report an environmental emergency?
Call 1 866 694-5454.