A new impact study requested for the Lac-Mégantic bypass

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A new impact study requested for the Lac-Mégantic bypass

The coalition fears environmental impacts, which are still little known.

A coalition of citizens and organizations is calling for an environmental impact study in connection with the Lac-Mégantic bypass project. According to them, Ottawa does not know these impacts since no independent and thorough study has been done.

The Coalition of Collateral Victims of the Lac-Mégantic Bypass Project, the Municipality of Frontenac, the Union of Forest Producers of Southern Quebec, the Union of agricultural producers (UPA) in Estrie, Eau Secours and the Regional Council for the Environment (CRE) in Estrie call on the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Stéphane Guilbeault on this subject.

A letter, co-signed by the co-director general of CRE – Estrie, Jacinthe Caron, was sent to the Minister to request that the project be subject to the Impact Assessment Act so that it is the subject of a study.

We are going to dig below the level of the water table, supports Jacinthe Caron at the microphone of This is the info. We will thus greatly disturb the hydrological regime. We will destroy thousands of square meters of wetlands. It is certain that there will be impacts. And there is a high level of uncertainty. We play in the basement, an environment we don't know.

If there was an evaluation by the Bureau des audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) in 2019 and hydrological studies, it is indicated in this letter that the various studies provided contradictory results, presented conflicts of interest or indicated the need for further research.

According to the group, the choice of route is criticized and risks disturbing the environment for a solution which, 10 years [after the tragedy], is not possible -be more the best solution. Jacinthe Caron regrets that Ottawa persists in continuing on this path, regardless of the impact. And we'll make sure it's not that bad.

“The experts tell us that they will monitor, that the damage will be repaired if it occurs. This is what I find disturbing. There are no real avoidance measures to avoid significant destruction of wetlands. The proposed measures are observation, monitoring and after damage control. »

— Jacinthe Caron, Co-Director General of CRE – Estrie

Jacinthe Caron explains that the precautionary principle is not applied, and that for this reason, the question deserves to be reopened as to whether this route is the best solution to ensure railway safety.

If the answer was yes, we would go with collective choice, she says. But what we see is that the door is completely closed to taking a step back and reviewing the options with the citizens, looking at all the facets and impacts.

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