Residual and hazardous materials management

residualIn 1982, the JBACE studied the proposed amendments to the Regulation respecting solid waste, which provided for special conditions north of the 55th parallel, but none in the James Bay Territory. To facilitate application of the amended regulation, the JBACE succeeded in getting the rules relating to leachates and analysis techniques eased.

In 1996, the Committee participated in the BAPE’s public hearings on waste management in Québec. The JBACE recommended that waste management be a regional responsibility and that incineration and composting pilot projects be carried out. That is why the JBACE supported the Review Committee’s recommendation not to approve a proposed sanitary landfill site in Chapais because the proponent planned for the site to receive waste from outside the James Bay Territory. The JBACE recommended a moratorium on the practice of receiving waste from other regions.

In 2000, the Québec government overhauled the Regulation respecting solid waste and renamed it the Regulation respecting the elimination of residual materials. The JBACE submitted a brief on the draft regulation to explain the waste disposal methods used in the James Bay Territory: a number of provisions, including the requirement to dispose of waste in a sanitary landfill if one is located less than 100 km away, would have been difficult to apply in Cree communities.

In 2005, the government adopted the regulation, which was finally called the Regulation respecting the landfilling and incineration of residual materials. The regulation prohibits burning in trench landfills which, in the JBACE’s opinion, creates extra costs for Cree communities insofar as government recovery and recycling programs do not apply to the James Bay region. From 2006 to 2010, the JBACE worked with the residual materials branch of the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs to examine scenarios for extending recovery programs to James Bay.

Hazardous materials

The Québec government struck a committee in 1990 to study the issue of hazardous waste. During the consultations, the JBACE called for better coordination between the regional offices of the Ministère de l’Environnement and the bodies established by Section 22 of the JBNQA. The Committee also asked that the government’s policy regarding used oil management be reviewed in relation to risk assessment, health benefits and constraints in northern communities.

During the 1996 consultations on Québec’s Soil Protection and Contaminated Sites Rehabilitation Policy, the JBACE identified 90 contaminated sites in the James Bay Territory, mainly caused by hydrocarbon spills. In a brief submitted to the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Faune, the JBACE underscored the importance of adopting adapted guidelines for cleanup projects in the Territory. Owing to the Crees’ wildlife harvesting activities, the Committee also recommended that the decontamination levels for sites in the Territory be such that the Crees could safely harvest wildlife again post-cleanup.

Next section: Environmental and social protection regime