The Samuel De Champlain Bridge corridor project is governed by the environmental obligations contained in the agreement between Signature on the Saint Lawrence and Infrastructure Canada.
The project includes a team of environment professionals responsible for ensuring compliance with the environmental obligations contained in the agreement. They will also collaborate with the new Champlain Bridge design and construction teams to make sure the environmental obligations are taken into account during project design and in establishing construction methods.
Within the project framework, there are many environmental requirements regarding water, surrounding wildlife, air and noise management, and green spaces. Numerous permits were requested from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada, the City of Montreal and the affected boroughs to confirm compliance with these requirements.
Aquatic fauna will receive special attention throughout this project. Fish passages were installed during the construction at the west jetty (abutting L’Île-des-Sœurs) to ensure the spring migration of fish such as lake sturgeon, a species highly valued by indigenous peoples and commercial fishers. In addition, offset projects will be established for fish habitat; new spawning grounds were set up along with rehabilitation of existing spawning sites. All these activities will be monitored for many years to ensure that they are effective and sustainable.
Also, at the start of each new construction activity, biologists made sure to relocate brown snakes (a threatened species) outside the work zone and installed barriers to keep them from returning to the site.
Environmental obligations include the following aspects:
- Complying with all environmental obligations outlined in the agreement between Infrastructure Canada and Signature on the Saint Lawrence based, among other things, on the 2013 environmental assessment produced by the Government of Canada;
- Obtaining all authorizations and permits required from the federal, provincial and municipal authorities;
- Obtaining ISO 14001 certification for the project;
- Supervising and monitoring work in the field to ensure compliance with the authorization conditions, Infrastructure Canada environmental obligations and sound environmental practices;
- Obtaining Bronze-level Envision rating (sustainable development certification from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure).
* A detailed list of the measures taken to protect the environment and the community throughout the project is available on the website of Infrastructure Canada.