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Soil Protection and Contaminated Sites Rehabilitation Policy

Please note that the 1998 Soil Protection and Contaminated Sites Rehabilitation Policy is being revised.

If required, you may contact the Ministère’s Service des lieux contaminés et des matières dangereuses (Contaminated sites and hazardous materials department) at 418-521-3950.

We received many comments following the publication of the Soil Protection and Contaminated Sites Rehabilitation Policy. Changes were then brought to the Policy in order to clarify certain elements mentioned in those comments. The additions or modifications to the Policy, which appear in red on the screen, concern the following sections:

Table of contents


1. Introduction 

2. Scope and Target Clientele of the Policy

3. Four Basic Principles

4. Five General Objectives

5. Protection

5.1 Objectives
5.2 Targeted Sites
5.3 Preventive Measures
5.4 Levels of Decontamination to Be Achieved

6. Rehabilitation

6.1 Strategy

6.1.1 Priority Situations
6.1.2 Stages in the Approach

6.2 Potentially Contaminated Sites for Which There is a Reuse Project

6.2.1 Targeted Sites
6.2.2 Approach 

6.3 Contaminated Sites With an Obvious Impact on Human Health, Wildlife, Flora, the Environment or Property 

6.3.1 Targeted Sites 
6.3.2 Approach 

6. 4 Sites Most Likely to Have an Impact or Constitute Significant Risk: the Active Industrial Sites Intervention Program

6.4.1 Target Sites
6.4.2 Approach
6.4.3 Work Schedule
6.4.4 Link to Existing Programs

6.5 Other Contaminated Sites
6.6 Responses in Natural or Nordic Environment 

7. Registration with the registry office

7.1 Objectives 

7.2 Situations Requiring Registration with the Registry Office 
7.3 Forms of Registration with the Registry Office 
7.4 Amendment of Registration with the Registry Office Following Rehabilitation 

8. Role of municipalities and MRCs

9. Management and reclamation of excavated soils and sediments, waters and recuperated materials

9.1 Management of Excavated Soils and Sediments, Waters and Recuperated Materials 
9.2 Reclamation of Excavated Contaminated Soils 

9.3 Reclamation of Materials Recovered During Contaminated Sites Rehabilitation 

10. Recognized professionals and fee structure

11. Implentation plan

11.1 Legal Framework
11.2 Recognized Professionals
11.3 Fee Structure
11.4 Active Industrial Sites Intervention Program 
11.5 Economic Instruments and Other Market Mechanisms
11.6 Risk Assessment Procedures 
11.7 Assessment Mechanism for Projects Subject to the Risk Assessment Procedure 
11.8 Validation of Generic Criteria 
11.9 Administrative Documents 
11.10 Technical Guides 
11.11 Restructuring of the GERLED program 



Table 1: Undertakings, Obligations and Compatibility Certificates Related to Selected Risk Management Measures 
Table 2: Management Grid for Excavated Contaminated Soils 


Figure 1: Principles, Objectives and Actions 
Figure 2: Risk Management in the Case of Sites Subject to the Risk Assessment Procedure 
Figure 3: Flow Chart for Any Reuse Plan for Potentially Contaminated Site 
Figure 4: Flow Chart for Action on Contaminated Sites That Have an Impact on Human Health, Wildlife, Flora, the Environment or Property   
Figure 5: Industrial Site Intervention Program 


Appendix 1 List of Industrial and Commercial Activities Likely to Contaminate Soils and Groundwater 

Appendix 2 Generic Criteria for Soils and Groundwater 

Appendix 3 Risk Evaluation Procedure

Appendix 4 Confinement, Control and Monitoring (CCM) Measures


Soil may be described as having six essential functions. The first three are ecological in nature and the last three may be described as technical-industrial and socio-economic.

Thus, from an ecological point of view, soil:

  • acts as a filtration and transformation buffer that helps guarantee and protect life;
  • constitutes a habitat for plants and animals;
  • permits the biomass to develop (agriculture and forestry).

From a more utilitarian point of view, soil:

  • sustains all human activities: agricultural, urban, industrial, institutional, commercial and recreational;
  • constitutes a source of raw materials (gravel, sand, etc.);
  • contains an essential reserve of groundwater for multiple uses (drinking water, irrigation, industrial processes, etc.).

Just like water and air, soil constitutes a vital part of the ecosystem and a limited resource that must be protected and, when damaged, rehabilitated.

Next Section  End of document

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