The battery sector
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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.