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PL 61: the recovery program should help municipalities clean up their water

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PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, June 4, 2020 – Fondation Rivières is calling on the Quebec government to include investments in water sanitation in the priority projects provided for in Bill 61 on economic recovery. The current bill does not provide for a measure that would allow municipalities to take rapid action to reduce water pollution.

Earlier this week, the Foundation revealed in particular that 7 municipalities out of 10 should take action to reduce pollution emitted into rivers. The study of 130 wastewater treatment plants evaluated over the last three years also indicates that the treatment capacity of 24 of the 130 stations (18 %) is exceeded by more than 25 %.

A hundred interviews with municipal officials allowed us to hear their cry from the heart: their file is tossed from one ministry to another, between the Environment and Municipal Affairs. They deplore having to multiply calls for tenders in engineering between stages. Consultants often recommend a different solution than their predecessor and municipalities must repeatedly update the data. Multiple grant applications must be developed and each grant has its specific requirements. Both levels of government are often involved, each with its own cost reimbursement arrangements. These operations are so complex that some have chosen a consultant to guide them through the government mazes.

After 40 years of water purification in Quebec, how come we still have to multiply comparative studies of different technologies for each project? Is it not possible to pool the knowledge acquired, the construction and operating costs of different technologies?

According to Alain Saladzius, engineer and president of Fondation Rivières, “ the field of water sanitation could quickly contribute to the revival of the economy with several projects which would fall under municipal initiatives, while the 202 projects announced in the bill fall under ministries and will only be finalized in the medium term. or long term. In the municipal sector, to accelerate, it would first be necessary to eliminate obstacles to the efficient progress of projects, with streamlined procedures and sufficient human and financial resources. Good support from municipalities is essential on technical and administrative levels ".

The Fondation Rivières therefore requires the development of projects aimed at reducing water pollution, with better implementation conditions making it possible to obtain an accelerated investment dynamic.

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For informations :

Geneviève Tardy
Communications Manager
514 424-3556
communications@fondationrivieres.org

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