Montreal can build a composting center

Montréal peut bâtir son centre de compostage

Photo: Philip Rozenski Getty Images
According to a food distribution company, the composting will be established too close to the buildings.

The food distribution company in Beaudry and Cadrin wanted to cancel the decision of the City of Montreal to construct and operate the central composting plant planned in the borough of Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles. A judgment rendered last week by the superior Court rejects his request.

Beaudry and Cadrin is a fear of negative impacts related to odors (attributed to the establishment of the central composting plant in the vicinity of its facilities) on its products and, consequently, on the survival of its activities.

According to the company, the composting will be established too close to the buildings. Beaudry and Cadrin is located 200 metres from the projected center of processing of the organic materials to biodegradable. It is established in an industrial area, but in addition to its distribution center, the company operates a trade-self-service open to the public.

However, the guidelines for the supervision of the activities of composting of the ministry of sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against climate change (MDDELCC) recommend a minimum distance of 500 meters between the composting plant and the residential and commercial areas, homes and public places.

The court held that this distance of 500 metres cannot be considered as “a fixed standard and mandatory in which the City or the project proponent may be excused” and that the non-respect of this criterion ” is not subject to judicial sanction “.

Too late

Judge Michel Yergeau has also held that the approach by Beaudry and Cadrin has not been commenced within a reasonable period of time — over two years after having taken cognizance of the decision of the City. The Court has fixed the time of this decision the day of the adoption by the agglomeration council on march 26, 2015, a regulation which authorized the construction and occupation of the composting centre to the corner of the boulevards, Metropolitan and Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Beaudry and Cadrin filed its application on June 29, 2017.

And too early

The judge also points out that the MDDELCC has not yet authorized the composting centre and that the project promoter is not yet known ; the same applies to the technology of composting is chosen. Thus, it is too early to conclude that the “real difficulties” that may be suffered by Beaudry and Cadrin, said the judge Yergeau, adding that it ” is at this point a question of theoretical issues on which [the Tribunal] is not required to decide “.

“The outcome will depend on the decision of the minister to authorize or not the proposed composting plant at the location selected by the City and the conditions, restrictions, or standards that it will apply […] “, one can read in the judgment.

Beaudry and Cadrin could, suggests the judge Yergeau, initiate further steps ” in the event that the City or the company responsible for the construction and operation of the composting plant fail to meet their obligations of neighborhood.”

Jean-Philippe Beaudry, co-chair of Beaudry and Cadrin, said that he and his team were analyzing currently the judgment. He did not wish to comment for the moment.

The City of Montreal has not desired to comment on the situation. His publicist Gabrielle Fontaine-Giroux has, however, clarified that the bidding process of the central composting plant was completed and the analysis of the proposals was ongoing.

“The City takes into account the concerns of the environment in which it is implanted. A follow-up committee which gathers the main actors of the environment has been in place for more than two years “, she added.