Magotteaux Ltée, which operates a foundry in the city of Magog, has chosen to file a proceeding before the Tribunal administratif du Québec following the sanction imposed by the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. This financial penalty had been imposed in response to noise complaints filed by residents and was based on a strict application of section 20 of the Environment Quality Act (EQA).
However, all the analyses and decisions taken by the Ministry were based solely on the findings of the acoustics inspector and did not constitute sufficient evidence for the Tribunal. The latter considers that the inspector’s analysis does not take into account all the relevant factors such as the recurrence, severity and anteriority of the noise and that he applied the criteria of the 98-01 Information Note relating to the EQA. A subjective assessment should have been made to determine whether the balance between the right of citizens to the protection of their comfort within the meaning of section 20 of the EQA and the right of the company to maintain some or all of its operations had indeed been exceeded.
It is therefore this application of section 20 EQA that Magotteaux challenges, and not the noise measurements. The management of the foundry had taken measures to reduce noise pollution (e.g., a prototype for loading the balls indoors, the installation of rubber mats in the trucks, etc.) and to show goodwill.
The Tribunal emphasizes that a complete and objective analysis of all these elements (recurrence, severity and anteriority of the noise) would have clarified the situation. It is therefore of the opinion that the evidence submitted does not demonstrate, in context and in a preponderant manner, that Magotteaux generated noise likely to be detrimental to the welfare or comfort of human beings.A Fasken team was made up of Guillaume Pelegrin and Marilou Simard.