Verifying if a land is contaminated

A broker who wishes to verify if a property is contaminated can check the Inventory of Contaminated Sites in the Land Register. He must also review the Declarations by the seller of the immovable and previous detailed description sheets. Several cities and Regional County Municipalities (MRCs) also keep registers of contaminated sites.


Land Register

Whether the rehabilitation is done on a voluntary or forced basis, various notices must, or in some cases can, be registered in the Land Register by the person responsible for the characterization or rehabilitation of the land, all in order to make some situations effective against third parties. These notices are as follows:

  • A contamination notice must be registered as soon as a characterization study conducted pursuant to the Act reveals a concentration of contaminants exceeding the regulatory limit values
  • A decontamination notice that can be registered if the measures provided for in the rehabilitation plan result in the decontamination of the land and a subsequent characterization study reveals the absence or presence of contaminant, but under the regulatory limit values
  • The notice of land use restrictions that must be registered as soon as the Minister approves a rehabilitation plan that includes land use restrictions as a result of maintaining a concentration of contaminants exceeding the regulatory values limit on the land. This notice outlines the work to be performed and any restrictions on land use

Municipalities are required to maintain a list of lands subject to these notices and that the information contained in these lists is public.

Inventory of contaminated lands

The Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques makes available on its website an inventory of contaminated lands in Québec. The Ministry compiles general and technical information about lands contaminated by commercial or industrial activities or by accidental spills. The list is not exhaustive since it contains only cases brought to the attention of the Ministry.

Source: Notice to the Land Register in case of land contamination

City or municipality websites


Declarations by the seller of the immovable and previous detailed description sheets

In addition to the usual verifications in the Land Register, checking previous detailed description sheets and Declarations by the seller of the immovable when listing an immovable will allow the broker to uncover the existence of relevant information.

For more details: Environmental issues: Internet resources to keep and Checking the previous seller’s declarations, documenting your record and informing the buyer: Obligations to keep in mind

Last updated on: November 29, 2021
Reference number: 208799