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Laval | A “condemned” stream

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Un ruisseau à la réputation peu enviable suscite l’inquiétude de résidants à Laval. Après « plusieurs épisodes de contamination » jugés préoccupants, le Conseil régional de l’environnement a demandé au ministre de l’Environnement d’intervenir dans le dossier.

« 10 ans que ça dure »

Le 30 décembre dernier, l’eau du ruisseau la Pinière, à Laval, était particulièrement grise, chargée de sédiments qui iront se jeter dans la rivière des Prairies, un peu plus au sud. Selon Francis Létourneau, résidant de Laval, c’était la 13e fois ce jour-là qu’un tel épisode se produisait depuis l’été 2021. En entrevue avec La Presse, M. Létourneau explique qu’il a constaté le phénomène pour la première fois en 2019. Il n’est pas le seul. De nombreux Lavallois s’inquiètent de l’état du ruisseau. « Un monsieur que j’ai croisé au boisé Papineau m’a déjà dit que ça fait 10 ans que ça dure », ajoute-t-il.


PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, LA PRESSE

Le ruisseau la Pinière, à Laval, se déverse dans la rivière des Prairies.

Le ministre Charette interpellé

Depuis 2019, la majorité des échantillons d’eau prélevés dans ce ruisseau par le ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) ne sont pas conformes aux normes pour la qualité de l’eau et la santé de la vie aquatique. Dans une lettre transmise le 24 février au ministre de l’Environnement, Benoit Charette, le Conseil régional de l’environnement (CRE) de Laval lui a finalement demandé qu’« une enquête exhaustive soit menée pour identifier les sources de contamination du ruisseau la Pinière ».

La missive signale que plusieurs plaintes ont été formulées à la Direction régionale du contrôle environnemental de Montréal et de Laval. Et « que des inspections ont été effectuées à au moins sept reprises pour tenter d’identifier la cause exacte de ces rejets, mais toujours sans succès ». Le CRE ajoute que « la réponse de la Direction régionale à notre courriel du 24 novembre 2021, qui détaillait nos constats et interrogations, ne nous a pas donné l’assurance que la situation est suffisamment prise au sérieux par [le] ministry”.


PHOTO ROBERT SKINNER, THE PRESS

Since 2019, the majority of samples taken from the Pinière stream do not comply with water quality standards.

Laval’s largest stream

La Pinière stream, 7.6 km long, has its source in the wetlands of Bois-de-Boulogne park and flows into the Rivière des Prairies, west of the Highway 25 bridge. to drain almost a third of the center of Île Jésus. About 6.8 km of the creek was channeled in the late 1980s, to cross various roads and an industrial sector. It also serves as a receiver for Laval’s water purification network, while occasionally receiving overflow from overflow structures. During an investigation carried out in 2014, the Regional Council for the Environment found that certain sections of the stream were so contaminated that there were no fish capable of surviving there. According to Alexandre Choquet, biologist at the CRE, “it’s a stream that we have already somewhat condemned”. “It has become like a highway carrying a lot of waste. »

Still no culprit

To date, authorities have failed to determine the source of the contamination in the waterway. In its letter to Minister Charette, the Laval Regional Council for the Environment pointed out that “there are indications pointing to water inlet #7 from the Demix quarry, operated by Groupe CRH Canada inc. at 1500, boulevard Saint-Martin”. According to the CRE, “all the inspections were also carried out several days after the receipt of the complaints, so that no rejection could ever be observed directly”. According to documents obtained by the organization, the MELCC designates water inlet #7 as a potential contamination point.

No follow-up inspection

During an inspection carried out on October 15, the MELCC found that the concentration of suspended matter in the stream was the highest since 2019. The contamination also extended over at least 3 km. No action was taken by the Ministry. In an email sent to the MELCC on November 24, the Regional Council for the Environment said it did not “understand why this intervention was closed so quickly, when the quality of the water directly downstream of the Demix quarry presents a danger for aquatic life. “This situation has persisted for more than three years and the potential points of contamination have been identified for almost two years”, concludes the organization.

Laval says he is powerless

“Although the City takes this situation very seriously, it does not have jurisdiction to resolve the problem in this file, the responsibility of which falls to the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change”, indicated the person in charge of Laval Public Affairs, Anne-Marie Braconnier. The City says it wants to “work closely with the MELCC until the situation is rectified”. For its part, the office of Minister Benoit Charette specified that the Ministry “carries out all the necessary checks to clarify the situation”. The CRH Group tersely claims to have “implemented several concrete actions since 2018” and assures “continue to do so to this day”.

Learn more

  • 138mg/L
    Suspended matter content measured downstream of the Demix quarry on October 15, 2021; the upstream concentration was 34 mg/L. According to the Regional Council for the Environment, the suspended matter content should not exceed 25 mg/L in turbid water.

    Source: letter sent to the Minister of the Environment by the Regional Council for the Environment of Laval

    20%
    Proportion of Laval territory covered by the Pinière stream watershed

    Source: letter sent to the Minister of the Environment by the Regional Council for the Environment of Laval

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