Traceability of excavated contaminated soils (the “Regulation”) coming in force starting November 1, 2021.

21.10.21 12:30 PM

On July 7, 2021, The Regulation respecting the traceability of excavated contaminated soils (the Regulation) was published by the Ministry of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change (MEFCC) in the Gazette officielle du Québec.  The purpose of the Regulation is to limit and control contaminated soils through the implementation of traceable measures to ensure that such soils are discharged in a site where they may be received.


Starting November 1, 2021, the use of the “Traces Quebec” system will be mandatory for certain types of excavation work for contaminated soils. This system will be gradually implemented in three phases. 


The “Regulation”


This Regulation applies to soils containing contaminants from human activities, regardless of the concentration value of contaminants. Sediments extracted from a lake or watercourse, including the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence and the oceans surrounding Québec, are considered to be soils that apply if they contain such contaminants. However, this Regulation does not apply to excavated contaminated soils transported to, or by, an aircraft.


Further information regarding the discharge, applicability, storage, and transfer of contaminated soils can be found in the Gazette officielle du Québec at :



Traces Quebec

As previously mentioned, the government of Quebec will trace contaminated soils by using the Traces Quebec”,  provided by the All information and documents required under this Regulation, including electronic signatures, must be provided to the Minister using this computer system. Natural persons andbusiness corporations must register and provide any relevant information to track the movement of contaminated soils from their site of origin to their final receiving site. This should also include information regarding the degree and quantity of soil contamination. All of this information must be provided before the first transportation of the contaminated soils.

Also, the owner of the soils, the project owner for work or the party causing the discharge, can authorize a different person to perform their place in any obligations in the computer system.



In regards to monetary penalties, failure to comply with a provision of this Regulation will result in an economic sanction ranging from $500 to $200 for individuals, and $2500 to $10,000 in other cases.


As well, anyone that contravenes any other requirement imposed by this Regulation is liable, where no other penalty is provided for by this Division or by the Act, to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $100,000 in the case of a natural person or, in other cases, to a fine of not less than $3,000 and not more than $600,000.



Three-phase implementation:


First Phase:  


From November 1, 2021, until December 31, 2021. Applicable only to the transportation from the site of origin of a quantity of contaminated soils to or greater than 5,000 metric tonnes, excavated during work that began on or after November 1 of 2021.


Second Phase:

Beginning January 1, 2022. The Regulation will also apply to the transportation of a quantity of contaminated soils equal to or greater than 1,000 metric tonnes, from both the site of origin or receiving site. Unless the soils are covered by a contract by mutual agreement entered into after July 7 of 2021; or a contract entered into following a public call for tenders or a call for tenders from the private sector by using a notice published after July 7 of 2021.

Third Phase:

As of 1 January 2023, this Regulation applies to all transportation of excavated contaminated soils on or after that date, regardless of the date on which the excavation work began.






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