Investigation finds Contaminated Soil from Montreal is being dumped on Prime Farmland

As reported by Marie-Maude Denis and Jacques Taschereau of CBC News, contaminated soil generated from the development of properties in Montreal is ending up on prime agriculture land.

Radio-Canada’s investigative program Enquête recently tracked demolition waste from Montreal sites to farmland in Saint-Rémi. When the investigators confronted the farmer, he claimed the material dumped on his property would be used as a foundation for a greenhouse and that it was legal.

An environmental lawyer contacted by the Radio Canada investigators disagreed with the farmer as did Quebec’s Environment Ministry. The Environment Ministry confirmed it found contaminated soil at the site last year, but it’s offered no further details about its origin, saying the matter is still under investigation.

When The Radio Canada investigators questioned the general contractor working on the site that was the source of the contaminated soil, he claimed the a subcontractor properly trucked the soil away.

Properly managed soil treatment facility

The claim of the general contractor and farmer is that the material is construction debris consisting mainly of bricks and stones and not contaminated soil. The investigators noted that the material they saw dumped on the farm included metal and concrete. According to the Environment Ministry, the kind of debris that was tracked by the investigators can’t be legally be use for the intended farmland construction.

In a similar investigation conducted by Radio Canada in 2016, investigative reporters followed trucks and observed debris being dumped in the countryside. The investigators arranged for the sampling and analysis of the soil from several farms and that found some samples to be contaminated.

1 reply
  1. M. Halliwell
    M. Halliwell says:

    Considering the number of contaminated sites in Montreal (even just the former landfill / dump sites information that was released a couple years ago was pretty significant), it’s not particularly surprising that someone may be dumping soil (and debris) improperly. However, if it is known contamination not being properly disposed of, and the Quebec Environment Ministry has been aware of it for some time, I think there needs to be a little more enforcement action…every day they delay means more contamination spread over more farmland.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.