New pilot project to track contaminated soil after reports of illegal dumping

The city of Montreal and the Quebec government are teaming up on a pilot project to track contaminated soil from construction and work sites that comes in the wake of a La Presse report saying that organized crime has been allegedly involved in illegal dumping.

The pilot project — the first of its kind — will use GPS, software and other measures to follow the trail of contaminated soil, until it's treated or buried in an authorized location.

The government says two million metric tones of contaminated soil is disposed of every year in the province.

La Presse reports that a sub-contractor hired to remove contaminated soil from several Montreal-area construction sites dumped it in rural areas and farms instead of decontamination facilities.

The pilot project will involve companies taking part on a voluntary basis but Quebec Environment Minister Isabelle Melançon said that may change afterwards.

Montreal mayor Valérie Plante said she's confident most companies would want to take part in their own interest and that of the environment.

The pilot project will be helmed by Réseau Environment, a group of environmental specialists.

The pilot project will begin in May in the old rail yards in Outremont.