CEC requests response from feds about Technoparc

On September 17, 2003 the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) announced that it requested a response from Canada regarding allegations that the government of Canada is failing to effectively enforce the federal Fisheries Act. The request is in regard to the alleged discharge to the St. Lawrence River of toxic pollutants from the Technoparc site in Montreal, Quebec.

The Secretariat received the submission from three Canadian and two U.S. environmental non-governmental organizations on August 2003. The submitters assert that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other pollutants are being discharged from the Technoparc, the site of an historic industrial and municipal waste landfill. The City of Montreal currently owns the site.

The submitters assert that the Technoparc discharges are an offense under section 36(3) of the Fisheries Act, which prohibits the deposit of a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish or in any place under any conditions where a deleterious substance may enter such water.

On September 15, 2003, the CEC Secretariat concluded that the submission meets all of the criteria set out in Article 14(1) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). Taking into account the factors listed in NAAEC Article 14(2), the Secretariat determined that the submission merits a response from Canada.

Canada has up to 60 days to provide its response. The CEC Secretariat will then review the submission in light of the response to determine whether a factual record is warranted.

For further information, see the Final Analysis column in the October/November edition of the magazine or contact the CEC at 514-350-4300 or info@ccemtl.org