The public meeting by Quebec’s environmental watchdog agency takes place March 5 at St-Gabriel Church.
Quebec’s environmental watchdog agency will hold a public information session on Hydro-Québec’s plan to build a new substation in Pointe St-Charles near the Black Rock monument to the victims of the Irish famine.
The substation is meant to fill growing demand for electricity in downtown Montreal, Griffintown, the port zone south of the Lachine Canal and the Cité du Havre.
It is also needed to power the coming Réseau express métropolitain (REM) light-rail system linking the South Shore with the city centre.
The information session is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the basement of St-Gabriel Church at 2157 Centre St.
The public is invited to learn about the project, the procedure by which its impact on the environment will be evaluated and studied, the public consultation process and the role of the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE).
The substation is to be built on a plot of industrial land owned by Hydro-Québec near its Viger station. The plot is bordered by des Moulins Rd., Bridge St. and Rue des Irlandais, adjacent to the Black Rock monument.
The Black Rock, a boulder dredged from the St. Lawrence River in 1859 by workers building the Victoria Bridge, is the world’s oldest monument to the victims of the Irish famine.
Hydro-Québec has agreed to cede 1.5 hectares of its site for a proposed park to honour 6,000 refugees from the famine who died in 1847-48 on Montreal’s waterfront. The boulder is to stay where it is, and become the centrepiece of the new park.
Construction of the substation requires the removal of 92 of the 116 trees on the land, though 70 trees are to be planted after the project is completed. The utility must also decontaminate and landscape the area, which is currently occupied by a parking lot and cement plant.
The $100-million project is expected to be completed by spring of 2023.
Apart from environmental impacts of decontamination and construction, the BAPE will study how the project can properly unearth archeological materials to better understand the history of the site.
Over the next 30 days, any citizen, group, municipality or organization can request a public consultation on the project by sending a letter to: Ministre de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, 675 Blvd. René-Levesque Est, 30e étage, Québec, Qc GIR 5V7.
Documents related to the project can be consulted until March 14 on paper at the St-Charles library ,1050 Hibernia St., or at the BAPE office in Quebec City at 575 Jacques-Parizeau St., bureau 2.10, or online at www.ree.environnement.gouv.qc.ca