The submission of a certificate of authorization request in application of article 22 – How to facilitate the approbation of your request by the Ministry.
In Québec, the Environmental Quality Act (Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement, LQE) represents the main legal instrument protecting the environment. A preventive measure was establish in order to subject some projects or activities to the obligation of getting prior authorization from the Ministère du Développement durable, Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC). Article 22 of the LQE states that one must obtain a certificate of authorization prior to the undertaking of some work or activities that could result in the emission, issuance or discharge of contaminant or modify the environment.
Presenting a request
Any project, activity or work subject to the application of article 22 must submit a request using the form available on the Ministry website. This form must be submitted with all documents and information required by the regulation. The request must be sent to the regional direction of the Ministry responsible for the territory concerned with the project. You must transmit the original form, duly signed and dated, to the regional direction of the Ministry where your project will take place.
The certificate of authorization request form is combined with a Guide aimed to assist you in the preparation of your request. However, in order to accelerate the process, it is recommended to communicate with a representative of the regional direction of the Ministry concerned with the project which will be able to explain the requirements listed on the form. An external environmental consultant can also be involved at this step of your authorization request. Terrapex can assist you in this process.
In order for a request to be reviewed, it must contain the following elements:
- If it is an individual, its name, address and phone number;
- If it is a corporation, a society or an association, its name, the address of its head office, the title of the signatory of the request, and a certified copy of a resolution from the board of directors or its partners or its members, authorizing the signatory to present the request to the minister;
- The number assigned by the Enterprise Registrar to the company of the applicant;
- The cadastral designation of the lots over which the project will be undertaken;
- A description of the technical characteristics of the project;
- A site plan, a sketch or a technical specification. The site plans must have a title, a date and a signature. A scale must be indicated;
- A description of the nature and the volume of contaminants susceptible of being emitted, discharged, issued or deposited, as well as their point source or emission, discharge, issue or deposit in the environment;
- The details of the purification equipment used on site.
In addition, the request must contains the following documents:
- A resolution, where appropriate, of the company’s board of directors or of the municipal council, authorizing the signatory to present the request to the MDDELCC;
- A certificate from the municipality attesting that the project does not infringe any municipal regulations;
- The payment of any required fees, where applicable.
Other documents could be required, depending on the nature of the activities. These documents will be indicated by the regional direction responsible for the analysis of your project.
When a certificate of authorization request contains all the required documents and information, its analysis can begin. Otherwise, the regional direction will inform you via a written letter of the documents and information missing and will provide a specific delay to supply them. Failure to respond to this request can lead the Ministry to terminate the process and close your file; in this case, you will be notified via a written letter.
The treatment of authorization requests
The MDDELCC has implemented in recent years, measures aimed at better meeting the needs of the applicants of an authorization.
The delays required for the analysis of a certificate of authorization is directly related to the complexity of the project. In particular, the detailed engineering used in the different processes, the used water treatment and the atmospheric equipment must be finalized prior to the submission of the request. If the technical and administrative file is complete, a decision could be given within a 75-day period. In cases where the Ministry would need to make one or more requests for additional information (incomplete authorization request), the treatment time will be elongated. We suggest that you quickly submit all requested information. For any request, the Ministry has the obligation of verifying if an aboriginal consultation is necessary as part of the project. This consultation could have an impact on the issuance delays of the statutory act. If the developer has any information regarding meetings that may have occurred with aboriginal communities, it would be relevant to notify the Ministry.