MONTREAL, April 4, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Office de consultation publique de Montréal makes public today its report on the public consultation held on the draft by-laws authorizing the construction and occupation of four organic matter treatment centres and a pilot household waste pretreatment centre. The by-laws amend the urban planning by-laws of two boroughs, Villeray - Saint-Michel - Parc-Extension and LaSalle, as well as those of two related cities, Dorval and Montréal-Est. The mandate was given to the Office in accordance with section 89.1.1 of the Charter of Ville de Montréal. This is the first time that the Office has received a mandate from the agglomeration council, as provided for under the above-mentioned section of the Charter.
The draft by-laws provide for the construction of the infrastructures in question in the above-mentioned boroughs and related cities, but under certain conditions. Norms are provided pertaining to building sitings and heights, occupation of outdoor spaces, and landscaping. They also incorporate development, architectural and design objectives and criteria.
More than 500 people attended or participated in the information sessions and sessions for the presentation of briefs. The commission moved around to all of the boroughs and related cities directly affected by the establishment of the facilities. Most of the participants agreed with the reclamation of organic matter. The efforts of the agglomeration to reduce the burial of organic matter and replace it with composting and biomethanation were applauded. However, as the selection of specific technologies for each site has not been completed, many questions on the potential impacts of the establishment of the facilities went unanswered, notably concerning the risk of nuisances (odours, noise, and trucks), and the risks associated with the specific technologies that would be used at the biomethanation centre and the pilot pretreatment centre. This limits the citizens' ability to judge the relevance of the proposed sites, despite the preliminary studies tabled by the agglomeration.
However, the basic issue is that the project on which the consultation was held is not the same as the one initially submitted by the agglomeration. In fact, the late and definitive refusal by Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) to make available the planned site in the west end (Dorval) completely altered the game. There are no longer four sites, but three. There are no longer five infrastructures, but four. Participants from the east end of the island fear that all organic matter treatment activities may now take place in the east end of Montréal, given the fact that there are no sites in the west end, and that the site in the south end will take longer to start up.
The commission points out that regional autonomy and territorial equity are the cornerstones of the agglomeration's approach. Territorial equity refers to an idea of balance, of reciprocity, where some may not enjoy benefits to the detriment of others who experience the inconveniences. The commission is aware of the difficulty of finding locations for community facilities that generate nuisances. It is therefore important to try to spread them out as fairly as possible, and to reduce potential negative impacts to a minimum.
The commission believes that, despite the urgency of establishing facilities on the sites in the north and east ends to kick start the organic matter treatment project, such a decision cannot be made unless, at the same time, other decisions are made to also establish facilities in the west and south ends, in the first phase of the treatment project. Therefore, the commission recommends that the agglomeration confirm a new site in the west end, and proceed with the establishment of the planned composting centre on that site, at the same time as the one planned for the north end, on the CESM site.
For the east end, the commission recommends that the pilot pretreatment centre be established on the site of the Demix quarry, as planned, and that every effort be made to involve a university chair. As to the biomethanation centres, the commission recommends that the agglomeration proceed immediately with the acquisition and decontamination of the Solutia site, and with the establishment of a centre in the borough of LaSalle, in the first phase of the treatment project, unless the short-term combination of a biomethanation centre and the pilot pretreatment centre on the Demix site is considered a significant economic lever for the east end of the island of Montréal.
Establishment conditions have also been set out for each of the sites. The commission recommends that development agreements be signed with each of the boroughs and related cities concerned.
All available information on the project may be obtained at the OCPM offices, at 1550 Metcalfe Street, Suite 1414, and at the Direction du greffe at City Hall, at 275 Notre-Dame Street East. The documentation is also available on the Office Web site, at www.ocpm.qc.ca.
For further information:
514 977-8365 (Cell.)