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Northvolt targeted by a request for an injunction | The battery industry

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan18,2024

Northvolt targeted by a request for an injunction | The battery industry

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The Northvolt Six complex will be built on the border of the municipalities of Saint-Basile-le-Grand and McMasterville.

p>The Canadian Press

The Quebec Environmental Law Center (CQDE) and three citizens filed a request for an injunction in the Superior Court on Thursday to demand the immediate suspension of work on the Northvolt battery factory project, in Montérégie.

Tree felling work began this week on the site of the future factory in McMasterville and Saint-Basile-le-Grand, after the Ministry of the Environment authorized last week , the start of construction work on the factory.

In a press release released Thursday, the CQDE requests the suspension of this worrying work for the biodiversity. The hearing on this appeal should take place Friday morning at the Montreal courthouse, according to the press release.

CQDE lawyers argue that a few months ago, the destruction of wetlands in the same place had been refused as part of another project and that the ministry's experts mentioned at the time the importance of these environments for the region and for biodiversity.

Which makes the CQDE say that there seems to be double standards.

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As the situation requires an urgent response for the protection of the environment, we are now turning to the courts. We regret having to go this far, but the ongoing destruction, without adequate response to public concerns, forces us to act quickly, says Marc Bishai, lawyer at the CQDE.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The Northvolt file perfectly illustrates the importance of having a public environmental register, provided for by law since 2018.

If this register existed, the public would already have access in a single click to the documents describing the authorized project and the conditions imposed on it by the Minister of the Environment, wrote the CQDE, adding that currently, you have to wait for a response to a request for access to information, which can take weeks, when work is already underway in the field and there is no had no independent environmental assessment allowing for meaningful public participation.

Section 118.5 of the Environment Quality Act (LQE) stipulates that the Minister of the Environment must keep a public register containing a range of information on industrial projects and activities .

For example, the register must contain the description and source of the contaminants caused by a project or the conditions that a promoter must respect or the prohibitions and specific standards applicable to carrying out the activity.

But six years after the law came into force, the register which must list the ministerial authorizations requested or granted still does not exist.

It's unacceptable that the public registry is still waiting while the destruction of sensitive environments occurs in opacity.

A quote from Me Marc Bishai, lawyer at the CQDE

This access to information is all the more important, according to him, as the construction of the Northvolt plant was not subject to the environmental impact examination and assessment procedure, including public hearings before the BAPE.< /p>

A regulation was modified last February by Quebec to allow the Northvolt project to escape a BAPE examination, according to information from ;first relayed by Radio-Canada.

The production capacity of the factory would be 56,000 metric tons, while the Regulations relating to the assessment and review of the environmental impacts of certain projects have been modified to avoid a BAPE assessment for battery factories that produce 60,000 metric tons or less.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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