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Quebec cracks down on illegal dumping site in Franklin

A waste storage site located in Franklin has been ordered by the Ministry of Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change to immediately cease all activities after it was found to be illegal.
The site is managed by the company 4507380 Canada Inc, also known as Les Entreprises V.A.G. Distribution, the head office of which is currently located in Varennes, France.

According to a statement issued by the ministry, it has been receiving complaints from citizens in the area in connection with the company’s activities dating back to 2017. “Our team inspected the site and found that huge piles of various residual materials including construction, renovation and demolition waste had been deposited without authorization. Our inspectors also located a backfill containing contaminated soil.”

Since becoming aware of the company’s activities, the ministry has issued several notices of non-compliance to the site operator for dumping waste materials in an unauthorized location. The company was previously fined $5,000 and $10,000 for dumping and storing residual materials and contaminated soils in an unauthorized location.

 

Piles of materials including contaminated soil have been illegally dumped at the site in Franklin. PHOTO Ministry of Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change

 

On November 3, 2020, the company was found guilty of violating the Environmental Quality Act by failing to follow the necessary steps to ensure all material was stored, treated or disposed of in an authorized location. It was fined $20,000 in addition to the court fees and contribution and prosecution costs totaling $20,496 incurred by the ministry.

Despite multiple actions taken by the ministry with regard to this file, the company has yet to submit any characterization estimates of the affected lots and groundwater (characterization studies take into consideration soil quality assessments and impacts on underground and surface water to determine the extent of contamination and remediation to remove the problem). The statement issued by the ministry confirms that “To date, the company 4507380 Canada Inc. has not remedied the alleged violations of which it is accused.”

The order issued by the Ministry of the Environment requires that the company “cease, upon notification of the order, any deposit of discharge of waste materials and contaminated soils on the eight lots in question.” The order also requires the company to submit the characterization study and estimate within 60 days of receiving the order, and allows 30 days to carry out the necessary remediation work upon approval of the estimate.

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