Among the several amendments proposed by the Quebec government to the environmental regulatory framework in an omnibus package published in the Gazette officielle du Québec on February 22, 2023, is a significant increase to the annual duties payable by establishments subject to the Regulation respecting the operation of industrial establishments for the discharge of contaminants into the environment.

Proposed measures include:

Increase of the rate used to calculate duties from $2.20 to $9.08 per ton of discharges into water and the atmosphere

Substantial increase of the weighting factor used to calculate duties for discharges of arsenic and cadmium into the atmosphere

These increases would allow the government to collect over 10 million dollars more each year. How these funds would be used remains vague: the government indicated that it is considering reinvesting them to improve the environmental performance of the industrial sector and the protection of air and water quality. More generally, the government aims to support the transition to a greener, more prosperous and more sustainable economy.

The proposed amendments are open for a 45-day comment period, which is set to expire on April 8.

The foregoing provides only an overview and does not constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal advice should be obtained.

© McMillan LLP 2021