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Development of the port of Montreal in Contrecoeur: several impacts ignored or undervalued

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, February 5, 2018 – On February 1, the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) revealed the details of its project to build a maritime terminal in Contrecœur. The project would occupy 4 km of natural bank on the St. Lawrence River, near a residential area of Verchères in the countryside, facing Bouchard Island, worthy of a park. The first phase provides for a 675-meter quay and a transit capacity of 1.15 million containers per year. This project worries the Fondation Rivières, given the scale of the anticipated impacts and its incompatibility with rural, agricultural and tourist uses around the sector retained by the APM.

The copper redhorse and the western chorus frog, two species protected by the Species at Risk Act, are reported in the project study area. The dredging of an area of more than 160,000 m2 of sediment is required for the construction of the quay in phase 1. The aquatic habitat of these protected species will therefore be negatively influenced, both by the construction work of the quay and by its use. daily. Also, remember that the Contrecœur Islands, a national wildlife reserve, are located approximately 2 km downstream from the planned terminal. Given this short distance, we fear that the maritime terminal will become a nuisance for this reserve, the wildlife it shelters and the recreational and tourism quality of the environment.

Human habitat will also be significantly affected by this project. The light pollution that this terminal would cause, visible as far as the North Shore, risks displeasing neighboring municipalities. Air pollution, noise and dust from trucks and trains passing through the terminal will be major. The influx of trucks could reach up to 2,000 vehicles per day in phase 1 of the project. This represents a significant additional contribution, not only in terms of GHG for the atmosphere, but also in vehicles on neighboring roads and highways. Highway 30 is already experiencing chronic congestion in places and the terminal at Contrecœur would considerably increase this toll. Route 132 will also be disrupted by the increase in traffic caused by the maritime terminal.

The APM acquired the land in Contrecœur more than 30 years ago. Even if this site constituted an interesting development option at the time of the acquisition, the evolution of our laws and the importance of land planning taking into account the various current environmental issues push us to question the necessity of the project at this location. You should know that this sector of Contrecœur, considered heavenly by some, has enormous recreational tourism potential to be developed. The construction of the terminal at Contrecœur would destroy this natural gem. Does Quebec want to become a container hub, or a place sought after by everyone for its exceptional assets?

The Fondation Rivières wishes to form a work team with other environmental groups and citizens to study in more detail this project subject to the assessment process of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). The official information page for this project can be found here.

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For informations :

Alain Saladzius
President
514 924-2013
presidency@fondationrivieres.org

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