31.6. The Government or any committee of ministers contemplated in section 31.5 may exempt, wholly or partly, from the environmental impact assessment and review procedure provided for in this division, any project the physical realization of which is to begin not later than one year after the coming into force of the regulation of the Government making that project subject to the said procedure.
Not later than 15 days before making such decision, the Government shall publish a notice of his intention in the Gazette officielle du Québec.
Notice of such decision shall then be published in the Gazette officielle du Québec.
However, the Government or a committee of ministers contemplated in section 31.5 may, without notice, exempt a project from the environmental impact assessment and review procedure, where the realization of the project is required in order to repair or prevent the damage caused by an actual or apprehended disaster.
The Government or the committee of ministers may similarly exempt a project to establish or enlarge a landfill site referred to in the second paragraph of section 31.5 from the application of all or part of the environmental impact assessment and review procedure if, in its opinion, the situation requires that the project be realized in a time frame that is shorter than what is required for the application of the procedure. The decision of the Government or of the committee of ministers must describe the situation that warrants the exemption. The operation period of a landfill site so authorized may not exceed one year. A decision made under this paragraph may be renewed only once in respect of the same project.
Where it exempts a project from the environmental impact assessment and review procedure under this section, the Government or the committee of ministers contemplated in section 31.5 shall issue a certificate of authorization for the said project and add thereto the conditions it deems necessary for the protection of the environment.
The decision made under the first three paragraphs and the certificate of authorization pertaining thereto ceases to have effect if the physical realization of the project is not begun within the time provided in the first paragraph.
This section does not apply to the territory contemplated in the second paragraph of section 31.9. The Government may, however, by way of exception for reasons of national defense or state security or for any other reason of public interest, exempt a project, wholly or partly, from the environmental impact assessment and review procedure applicable in this territory.
1978, c. 64, s. 10; 1979, c. 25, s. 104; 1999, c. 40, s. 239; 2005, c. 33, s. 2.