Environment: lack of follow-up on noise from a shooting range | Protecteur du Citoyen
September 8, 2014

Environment: lack of follow-up on noise from a shooting range

Corps

F024The complaint

A man contacted the Québec Ombudsman to complain about the lack of follow-up from the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques to enforce the noise rules at a shooting range near his residence.

The investigation

  • The Centre de contrôle environnemental du Québec (CCEQ), reporting to the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et de la Lutte aux changements climatiques, has the mandate to verify compliance with the operating conditions set out in a shooting range's certificate of authorization, particularly concerning the permitted number of decibels.
  • Two years earlier, the shooting range at the origin of the complaint had received a notice of non-compliance. The operator then had to take steps to reduce the sound level of its activities.
  • An inspection was conducted one year later, but no shooting activity was observed on the site at that time.
  • The CCEQ could not proceed with a second inspection, because the only inspector trained to use sound level meters had quit his job.

The Québec Ombudsman's conclusions

The lack of qualified personnel to conduct sound tests hindered the adequate follow-up of the regulations governing noise from shooting ranges. This is why the Québec Ombudsman recommended that the CCEQ take the appropriate actions so that personnel are trained for this purpose as soon as possible. It also requested that a new inspection be conducted to verify whether the shooting range has complied with the rules.

The CCEQ approved the recommendations in both cases. Two people were trained following our intervention and the CCEQ returned at least twice to the shooting range at the origin of the complaint.