Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs
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Soil Protection and Contaminated Sites Rehabilitation - Technical Documents

Reports and inventory


The MELCC makes reports, including general and/or specific statistics on the management of sites that have been contaminated by anthropic activity, available to the public. Data in the reports comes from the Système de gestion des terrains contaminés (GTC), the Répertoire des dépôts de sols et de résidus industriels (DSRI) and various other ministerial information systems. In general, the inventoried sites are selected on the basis of contaminant levels found during characterization that exceed the values listed in Schedule I of the Land Protection and Rehabilitation Regulation (or criterion B of the Guide d’intervention – Protection des sols et de réhabilitation des terrains contaminés).

The reports shed light on a variety of facts and issues that can affect the land. However, whenever the data shown is partial in nature, care must be taken in interpretation.

Inventory evolution of Gerled industrial residue landfills from 1983 to 1998

This publication sets out the restructuring of the inventory, taking account of the evolution of industrial residue landfills during that period of time. It is available from the MELCC by submitting a request for access to documents.


Guides and Guidelines


Soil and underground water characterization

  • Site Characterization Guide (French,PDF, 3.2 MB)
    This guide sets out the requirements for land characterization in Québec, based on the land’s composition (type of soil, groundwater, etc.). It also describes the methodology that must be followed to comply with the Ministère’s expectations for land characterization work.

    This document is intended for a variety of stakeholders, including professionals, consultants, companies, landowners, municipalities, and financial institutions.

    It replaces the Guide de caractérisation des terrains published in 2003 by Publications du Québec, and has been updated to consider new developments in the field of land characterization and rehabilitation.

    A three-month transition period is planned to allow users to familiarize themselves with the new document. As of June 1, 2024, all field work (phases II, III, etc.) and research carried out as part of an environmental characterization study (Phase I) must comply with this latest version of the guide.

    For the application of section 2 of the guide, concerning the conceptual model, the CSM Builder tool is a free PowerPoint file distributed by Health Canada’s Contaminated Sites Division, which can be used to create conceptual model diagrams of a property. Request a copy at the following e-mail address:

    Send any questions or comments to the following email address:

These guides describe planning and sampling best practices aimed at ensuring quality control and the validity of derivative scientific information.

  • Analysis of groundwater quality monitoring results (French, PDF, 249 KB)
    The purpose of this information sheet is to clarify the expectations of the Ministère with respect to groundwater quality monitoring analysis and, in particular, comparison and trend parameters.

  • Safe and Responsible Operation of High Risk Petroleum Equipment (French, PDF, 1.2 MB)
    This fact sheet was prepared in co-operation with the Régie du bâtiment du Québec. It summarizes the principal regulations and obligations that apply prior to; during; and/or after the use of high-risk petroleum equipment. The fact sheet is intended for owners and operators of this type of equipment and for consultants whose role is to provide support for any environmental rehabilitation steps that are required once the equipment has been shut down.

  • Guidelines for Assessing Natural Background Concentrations in Soil (2012 - French, PDF, 156 KB)
    This publication sets out the acceptable methods for differentiating the natural and anthropic concentrations of metals and metalloids found in soil.

The guidelines enable the correct assessment of natural background concentrations in a potentially contaminated site and facilitate the implementation of the Land Protection and Rehabilitation Regulation.

  • List of Suggested Methods for Conducting Laboratory Analysis (French)
    This list is a compilation of analytical methods recommended by the MELCC for the chemical characterization of soil and groundwater samples. It replaces the 1990 edition and the 1996 update to the Guide des méthodes de conservation et d’analyse des échantillons d’eau et de sol.

  • Methodology for calculating the efficiency of a process for physically segregating metallic and non-metallic contaminated soils or sediments (French, PDF, 422 KB)
    This publication offers a characterization methodology that enables the assessment of soil and/or sediment treatability and the calculation of the efficiency of physical segregation of particles and related contaminants. The main objective here is to precisely quantify contaminant distribution so as to maximize the reclamation of fractions that have little or no contamination. The methodology is intended for departmental analysts and experts in the field of contaminated soil and sediment treatment.

  • Selecting parameters for analyzing oil-contaminated soil and groundwater (1993)
    In addition to technical information on the physicochemical characteristics of commercial petroleum products, this document recommends a standardized approach to characterization and management of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil and groundwater, for use by laboratories and consultants.

    Available from the MELCC online under Access to documents (French).


Rehabilitation of contaminated sites

  • Trees and Shrubs to be Used to Vegetate Rehabilitated Sites Subject to Risk Assessment (French, PDF, 927 KB)
    This document is intended for experts in contaminated site rehabilitation. It focuses in particular on the vegetation of contaminated sites that will undergo risk assessment, sets out the various factors affecting root development and provides a selection of trees and shrubs to use or reject for the vegetation of these sites. It also presents additional mitigation measures that can be implemented in this context in order to meet the requirements of the Technical Assessment Group (GTE).
  • Guide for the Treatment of Soil by Biodegradation, Bioventing and/or Volatilization (1999 - French, PDF, 1.6 MB)
    This document sets out MELCC requirements for the demonstration stages and large-scale use of soil biodegradation, bioventing and/or volatilization decontamination techniques.

Management and traceability of soil, contaminated sediment and residual materials originating from contaminated sites

  • Safe, Responsible Practice Governing the Reception of Soils on Farmland (French, PDF, 231 KB)
    This reminder was produced in collaboration with the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec to ensure the quality of farmlands and the rehabilitation and safe reuse of soils in Québec. It summarizes the key obligations to be met to accept soils on farmland and is intended for farmers, agronomists and the consultants who guide them in the authorization process.

  • Guide for the application of the Regulation respecting contaminated soil storage and contaminated soil transfer stations (French, PDF, 245 KB)
    This guide is intended for use by project managers at regional MELCC offices and by experts in the field of contaminated soils. It details the objectives of the regulation and the reasons behind its implementation so as to permit better understanding and foster its coherent application.

  • Guidelines for the management of residual materials and contaminated soil treated by stabilization and solidification (French, PDF, 284 KB)
    This publication, used by MELCC personnel, serves for the process of approving and checking the compliance of residual materials and contaminated soil stabilization and solidification projects. It details the methods to be used in the assessment of long-term efficacy of chemical and physical immobilization of contaminants found in contaminated residual materials and soils treated by stabilization and solidification. The assessment framework varies on the basis of the anticipated scenario: limited use, disposal or on-site maintenance. It replaces the (French only) Guide to the management of hazardous matter treated by stabilization and solidification.

  • Criteria for the Assessment of Sediment Quality in Quebec and Application Frameworks: Prevention, Dredging and Remediation (2007, PDF, 1.1 MB)
    This publication was prepared jointly by Environment Canada and the MELCC. It provides the criteria for assessing the quality of contaminated sediment, as well as a management framework. The publication replaces the Interim criteria for quality assessment of St. Lawrence River sediment (1992). The new criteria are based on the approach selected in 1995 by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and meet the needs of sediment management in various contexts found in Québec.

  • Treated Lumber Management Guidelines (2011 - French, PDF, 254 KB)
    These guidelines cover the management of materials made from treated lumber, based on the characteristics of the products used and their environmental impact. They apply to the storage, recycling, reuse and energy recovery of treated lumber, whether the materials are new or used. They do not supersede any applicable regulatory obligations.

  • Recycling guidelines for concrete, brick, asphalt coated, dimension stone and residual crushed stone residues (French, PDF, 1.6 MB)
    These guidelines are used by departmental staff to evaluate new applications for ministerial authorization under section 22 (paragraph 88o) of the EQA, or applications to modify existing authorizations that were submitted under section 30 of the EQA, concerning projects for the storage, conditioning and use of concrete, brick and asphalt residues from construction and demolition work, as well as from the dimension stone sector. They can also be used by departmental employees whose brief includes the environmental control of activities involving the reclamation of these types of residues. The current version, dated 2022, is an update of the 2009 Guidelines for the Management of Concrete, Brick and Asphalt from Construction and Demolition Works, and Residues from the Dimension Stone Sector. It was made necessary by the modernization of the environmental authorization regime and the 2018 update of the EQA.


Contaminated soil landfill setup and management

  • Design, setup, control and monitoring manual for contaminated soil landfill sites  (French, PDF, 811 KB)
    The guidebook completes and clarifies the requirements of the 2001 Regulation respecting the burial of contaminated soils. The Regulation sets the conditions and/or prohibitions that apply to building, enlarging and/or operating a contaminated soil landfill. It also details the conditions that must be met when closing a landfill of this type, and for post-closure monitoring.

The MELCC has updated the “air” section of this guide in 2017 to incorporate the requirements of the 2011 Clean Air Regulation.

This publication replaces the Guide d’implantation et de gestion des lieux d’enfouissement sécuritaire (MENV, 1995).

Site evaluation based on risk analysis

  • Guidelines for the toxicological assessment of environment-origin risks in Québec (2012 - French, PDF, 1 MB) - Addendum  (French, PDF, 41 KB)
    Produced by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), this publication sets out the requirements of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux with respect to assessing toxicological risk to human health. Written in co-operation with the MELCC, the publication incorporates the policies and regulations that are relevant to its field of application.

  • Guidelines for assessing ecotoxicological risks to human health (2002 - French, PDF, 1.9 MB)
    This publication sets out the policy framework that regulates the assessment of toxicological risk to human health. It is a companion publication to the previously-mentioned guidelines. The text was written in co-operation with the MELCC and incorporates the policies and regulations that are relevant to its field of application. It is available from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Suite 200, 4835 Avenue Christophe-Colomb, Montréal, QC H2J 3G8 (514-597-0606).

  • Ecotoxicological risk assessment procedure for the rehabilitation of contaminated sites (1998 - French, PDF, 992 KB)
    This document describes procedures and phases in the assessment of ecosystem risk and sets out the MELCC requirements for such assessments.


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