The following commitments apply to the ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
Have you witnessed something that might not comply with Québec's environmental laws?
Here is what you can do...
An environmental complaint consists in reporting an activity which there is reason to believe does not comply with the laws and regulations administered by the Ministère. Such an activity may be, for example:
The MELCC’s Contrôle environnemental (CE) is responsible for handling environmental complaints. To make such a complaint, fill out the electronic form, then select the CE office that serves the region where the activity is taking place. If you’d rather email, mail or fax your complaint, or if you wish to make it by phone or submit it in person, contact the CE office in the region concerned directly.
First, the CE checks whether the complaint is within its jurisdiction, that is, if it has the power to intervene under Québec’s environmental laws. It may happen that your municipality or another organization or government department is responsible for handling your complaint.
Your complaint will be treated confidentially and with due care. No later than 10 business days after your complaint is filed, a CE inspector will inform you on how the grounds for the complaint will be investigated.
The inspector is mandated to check whether the reported activity complies with environmental regulations. Your complaint will be addressed as quickly as possible, depending on the nature and scope of the actual or potential environmental impacts.
In most cases, the inspector visits the area to investigate the site and installations and, if necessary, to take samples. If there is something wrong, the person responsible will be informed and asked to remedy the situation.
The processing of your complaint concludes when the inspector contacts you to inform you of his findings about the grounds for the complaint and, if applicable, the subsequent steps to be taken, as determined by the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information. In most cases, the inspector gets in touch with the person who reported the complaint within 40 business days following receipt of the complaint.
In the event that the reported activity is non-compliant, the inspector will check whether the requested remedial measures were taken and ensures that the activity is appropriately monitored. In most cases, the situation is resolved with the inspector’s intervention.
It may be necessary, however, to conduct an investigation in view of legal proceedings to issue a penalty for the offence. For this, an MELCC inspector must establish proof beyond any doubt. The evidence is then submitted to the office of the Attorney General of Québec’s Ministère de la Justice, which issues a notice of offence to the alleged offender if it is deemed there are sufficient grounds to do so. CEQ inspectors do not have the power to give out fines; only judges can fine offenders, once they have been found guilty of an offence.
When circumstances warrant, the MELCC may, in accordance with the Environment Quality Act, order the execution of certain measures or revoke an authorization.
Regional offices of the Contrôle environnemental (See list of regional offices)
To report the accidental presence of a contaminant in the environment 1 866 694-5454. More details
For all information, contact the Centre d’information of the Ministère: