Lending institutions are cautious when dealing with the financing of enterprises or individuals who mortgage a property that could likely be contaminated. In the past, financial institutions became the owners of properties whose decontamination cost exceeded their value property. As a consequence, these institutions made environmental site assessments a requirement and a condition prior to any property financing or re-financing.
Spheratest Environment offers consulting services in the following areas:
In Quebec, several laws and regulations guide environmental characterizations and the restoration of contaminated sites, namely the Environmental Quality Act (la Loi sur la qualité de l’environnement, LQE), the Regulation on the Protection and Rehabilitation of Land (Règlement sur la protection et la rehabilitation des terrains, RPRTC) and the Soil Protection and Remediation Policy (Politique de protection des sols et de rehabilitation des sols contaminés, PPSRSC).
Certain commercial and industrial activities are considered to be potential pollutants by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change (MDDELCC) and as a result must be treated in accordance. These activities are listed in Appendix III of the Regulation on the Protection and Rehabilitation of Land (c.Q-2, r.18.1.01) and include gas stations, machine workshops, and car dealerships, for example.
As per the EQA, four different situations can trigger the requirement to take action as set out in the EQA:
- The ministry issues an ordinance requiring the site to be decontaminated.
- Closure of an industry or commerce as defined in Appendix III of the EQA.
- Change of vocation of the activity carried out on the property that was or is defined in Appendix III.
- Voluntary site clean-up (soil or water).
For example, within the six months following the closure of an industry or the changing of vocation of an industry, the site owner must carry out a Phase 1 and a Phase 2 (soil and groundwater characterization) for the subject property and provide a copy of the studies to the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Fauna and Parks. In the case where soil and groundwater contaminant levels are found to exceed the limits set out by the Ministry for the property, there is an obligation to issue a notice of contamination and have it registered against the property title on the assessment registry and to submit a decontamination plan to the Ministry for approval. This report must be attested by an expert under the law. The list of accredited experts is available here.
Spheratest Environnement has, as a member of its team, an expert by the name of Frédéric Clair (#316) who is qualified to provide attestations required by the Regulation. Frédéric demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Ministry, competencies in the field and his application of the EQA, thereby allowing him to become a recognised expert.
According to the commonly accepted definition, the term Environment is a dynamic and changing surrounding, constituted by physical, chemical and biological elements as well as social factors, in which develop all living organisms and that is susceptible to have a direct or indirect influence on itself.
The field of environment protection entails the call of a broad range of skills. Numerous professional sectors share areas of expertise linked to the requirements brought by either new problems little known to the public or by the application of legal principles regarding civil responsibility and guaranteed agreements.
It is within this framework that the practice of these different fields of expertise was standardised and supervised by various institutions such as the Association canadienne de normalisation (CSA), the association canadienne de vérification environnementale (ACVE) as well as the associations québécoise de vérification environnementale (AQVE).
Range of expertise
The experts of Spheratest Environnement are specialists in the fields of Environmental Management and Environmental Site Assessment. Spheratest Environnement provides services that cover all aspects of the following environmental projects:
- Environmental Site Assessment
- Environmental Management
- Tailored Training
The adoption of an environmental policy is not only aimed at maintaining economic growth within a clean environment, it is also the fulfilment of both individual and corporate philosophical goals. Hence we are committed to promoting our ideas and respecting the following principles:
- Promote within the team work habits that contribute to the respect of environment, health and safety of people;
- Ensure that all activities of Spheratest Environnement and its subcontractors respect environmental laws and regulations;
- Maintain procedures on the administration of our policies and on the realisation of our environmental objectives;
- Spheratest Environnement is convinced that companies that are respectful of the environment are more efficient. It is through this vision that we favour working relationships with green companies and an internal policy of green purchases;
- Promote principles and practices set out in the above and make efforts to continuously improve these practices.