Environmental emergencies


What is an environmental emergency?

An environmental emergency is a sudden threat to the public health or the well-being of the environment, arising from the release or potential release of oil, radioactive materials or hazardous chemicals into the air, land or water.

There are different types of environmental emergencies :

  • Natural events such as forest fires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and ice storms;
  • Accidents caused by human activity, such as industrial spills;
  • Transportation related accidents that release hazardous substances.

An environmental emergency requires an immediate intervention, in that it endangers or is likely to endanger the environment and human health.

Reporting an environmental emergency

To report an environmental emergency requiring an immediate intervention (severe injuries, poisoning, fire, fumes, heavy smoke, etc.):
  • Immediately call 911;
  • Subsequently, call Urgence Environnement Québec at 1-866-694-5454

Air purification and water treatment

To file a complaint with regards to air pollutants such as odour emissions, smoke, dust or fumes, or with regards to having witnessed illicit dumping or other nuisances caused by the discharge of wastewater in the environment, visit the Clean Air Clear Water page in the Environmental Programs section under the tab for Sustainable Development, or click here.

Updated: December 20, 2013