A. Montreal Brief
Montreal Technoparc site is situated on the St. Lawrence River between the Champlain and Victoria Street bridges ? eight city blocks from Notre Dame Cathedral in Old Montreal. Montreal Port Authority is less than 100m away.
1870s ? Site was a dump for city wastes.
1960s ? Industrial waste constituted major portion of waste being dumped at site. Site was paved for parking lot during Expo ?67.
1988 ? ?Technoparc? was established as industrial park for high tech companies, Teleglobe and Bell Mobility. Other development projects proposed are theme park, golf course and tourist/recreational centre but nothing can be done until site is cleaned up.
Contracts of sale for the land from both province and federal government attribute all liability ?related to the conditions of the ground and the underground of the property? to the City.
b. Sample Results:
Date Site Total PCB
(ï¿½g/L)* Exceeds 0.001 ï¿½g/L
(x times) Oct. 4, '00 T-1 31 31,000 Oct.26, '00 T-1 368 368,000 Nov.21, '00 T-1 941 941,000 Jan.20, '02 T-1 0.65 650 Jan.20, '02 T-2 0.82 820 Jan.20, '02 T-3 8530 8,530,000
T-1 inside the boom
T-2 outside the boom
T-3 at discharge point
*A Canadian Water Quality Guideline for the Protection of Freshwater Aquatic Life for Total PCBs was established at 0.001ï¿½g/L in 1987. This guideline was subsequently withdrawn, with the recommendation that: ?This substance meets the criteria for Track 1 substances under the national CCME Policy for the Management Toxic Substances? and should be subject to virtual elimination strategies. Guidelines can serve as action levels or interim management objectives towards virtual elimination.?
c. Timeline of Events:
1988-2000 ? local environmental group ?Sociï¿½te pour Vaincre la Pollution? (SVP) communicated with the City of Montreal the need to clean up the site.
2000 ? Mark Mattson, at the request of Daniel Green of SVP, began to take samples with fellow investigators Krystyn Tully and Eric Mattson.
January 2002 ? Investigators witnessed a 400m long oil slick discharging from the site and called Environment Canada to report the contamination.
April 4, 2002 ? David Dillenbeck, former Ontario Ministry of Environment Regional Biologist for more than 20 years, provided investigators with an analysis of the sample result data which concluded that a deleterious substance was being discharged into water frequented by fish, in violation of s.36(3) of the Fisheries Act.
April 11, 2002 ? Brief was submitted to Environment Canada by investigators providing ?reasonable and probable grounds? to start an official investigation of the site, to lay orders or charges and clean up to contamination.
April 22, 2002 ? A letter was received from Environment Canada informing that an investigation under the Fisheries Act had begun.
April 24, 2003 ? A letter received from Environment Canada states that the investigation has been closed because the source of the contamination could not be determined.
B. CEC Submission Process
The North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) is an ancillary agreement to NAFTA which was entered into by the signatory countries in an effort to allay public concern that international trade would undermine environmental protection and public health and safety.
b. Articles 14 &15:
The NAAEC establishes a citizen submission process by which residents of any signatory country, who believes that a signatory country is not effectively enforcing its environmental laws, can seek to have that failure formally documented in a public record in the hope that public scrutiny and the attendant public comment will have a salutary effect.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC): The Secretariat makes recommendations to the Council and generates the Factual Record. The Council is made up of the environment ministers of the three signatory countries and is the governing body.
The party against which the allegations are made is given a chance to respond to the submission. If the government can show that the subject matter of the submission is currently the cause of an administrative or judicial procedure the CEC investigation is stopped.
C. Our Submission
Why is Montreal a good submission?
(i) Through the CEC, Canada, the United State and Mexico established a North American Regional Action Plan (RAP) for the sound management of PCBs. The RAP was created to organize and encourage individual and joint actions by the three countries to promote sound life cycle management of PCBs in the region.
(ii) There is evidence that Quebec is not enforcing the Fisheries Act to the same extent as the other regional offices of Environment Canada.
1999-2002: no prosecutions under the Fisheries Act by the Quebec Regional office of Environment Canada. During the same time there were 16 prosecutions in the Atlantic Region.
1988-1999: 5 prosecutions under the Fisheries Act by the Quebec Regional office. Atlantic Region ? 21, Ontario Region ? 11, Prairie Region ? 8, Pacific and Yukon Region ? 24