Employers’ advocates oppose stricter air quality regulations

Employers’ advocates oppose stricter air quality regulations

In a letter addressed to the Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, last Friday, the bosses’ representative denounces in particular a secret acceptance by Montreal that would not have allowed the companies concerned to adequately prepare their counter-arguments before the Ministry of l ‘environment.

We believe that the MELCC should refuse to authorize it [le règlement modifié] until a stakeholder consultation takes place […]asks in writing Hélène Lauzon, President and Director General of the Conseil patronal de l’environnement du Québec.

The regulatory change has yet to receive Québec’s approval in order to become effective in the metropolitan area of ​​Montréal. A few days before provincial elections begin and amid political turmoil caused by the Horne Foundry and others violating environmental standards for air and water emissions, Quebec appears to favor the status quo in this file was presented to it in mid-June.

The Department of Environment’s analysis of the regulation is ongoing, writes MELCC spokesperson Rosalie Tremblay-Cloutier, who mentions that she is unable to say when the decision will be made: we cannot go ahead with this aspect for the moment.

The CMM had asked the Ministry for the Environment and Climate Protection to submit its certificate of conformity by mid-August.

Sanimax as an example

The MELCC justifies the delay in its decision-making process by saying that it considers it important for the various stakeholders concerned to find common ground [tienne] Consider the impact on neighboring populations, the environment and the various economic actors who substituted the phrase grocery chain in reference to the nearly identical response broadcast to Radio-Canada a week ago.

In a 15-page letter sent on August 12 to Minister Benoit Charette and Massimo Iezzoni, Director General of the CMM, the employers’ representative denounced the changes in the regulations that pose major challenges for companies, including threatening the very existence of Sanimax, the only rendering plant in Montreal, Ms. Lauzon warns.

This multinational company, which owns a plant in the Rivière-des-Prairies sector, says it processes more than two million tonnes of organic waste a year. It recycles waste from slaughterhouses but is regularly the subject of complaints from local residents about foul smells.

In January, the Supreme Court found Sanimax guilty after appealing two rulings convicting the company of air and water pollution around its Rivière-des-Prairies factory. In particular, the court recognized odors as a pollutant, which the company denied.

Montreal businesses ‘disadvantaged’

The Conseil patronal de l’environnement du Québec has criticized the new Montreal regulations for unfairly putting Montreal companies at a disadvantage compared to other companies from Quebec, Canada or abroad, particularly in the food sector, by wanting to impose stricter odor standards on companies in its agglomeration , which refutes the CMM.

“We question whether it is relevant for the CMM to adopt its own odor standard, while the MELCC uses internationally recognized standards on the subject, such as those set out in the already very stringent Quebec Quality Standards and Criteria of the Atmosphere. »

— A quote from an excerpt of the letter from Hélène Lauzon, President and CEO of the Conseil patronal de l’environnement du Québec

The board also denounces the wide discretion given to the director of the City of Montreal’s Department of Environment in issuing permits, extended powers it says are arbitrary.

In a reply sent to Bosse’s CEO on Tuesday, CMM management defended its new regulations by calling for a better framework for the conditions of suspension and revocation of permits for discharges into the atmosphere.

The CMM also claims that the changes adopted do not change the emission standards related to the various pollutants and do not pose major problems for businesses in the Montreal metropolitan area, but that the changes noted are essentially administrative in nature and stem from issues , which were recently raised in court.

In an email to Radio-Canada, the office of Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal and President of the CMM, criticizes CPEQ’s backward-looking approach, which calls for the government to roll back minimum air quality standards. [lesquelles] dates back to 1987, and many of its members have special permits to pollute beyond Quebec standards.

Ms. Plante’s office also points out that more than half of Quebecers live in the metropolitan area and that corporate compliance with environmental standards directly affects their quality of life.