Montréal, April 19, 2022

Press Release

Hydro-Québec and the protection of the environment: At the heart of what we do

Hydro-Québec wishes to react to an article published in the Journal de Montréal concerning the environmental penalties that is has been given over the past ten years. We are among the companies that award the most contracts in Québec, and we carry out 1,500 environmental assessments across the province every year. Our power system is vast and our operations, varied. It is thus impossible to compare Hydro-Québec with companies operating in other industries.

A quarter of the administrative penalties mentioned in the article relate to reporting times, which were deemed too lengthy, even though the necessary corrective action had been taken quickly. We strive to continuously improve our performance in this regard and have considerably reduced reporting times—from 2014 to 2021, we reduced the proportion of reporting times above six hours from 46% to 11%.

We were also found guilty of an accidental diesel spill in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine in 2014, but we have completed all of the corrective work. We invested $38 million in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine to make our equipment safe, and, while doing so, we significantly improved public facilities. After the incident, Hydro-Québec’s President and CEO at the time apologized to the residents of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Ongoing efforts in energy efficiency

For Hydro-Québec, the environment is a priority, and protecting it is central to our work. We invest more than $125 million in the environment every year, in particular to protect ground and surface water, biodiversity and habitats, and in training, environmental assessment activities and compliance verification. In addition, we have more than 150 environmental advisors working across Québec.

Environmental assessment is vital to sustainable development. Its primary goal is to inform decision-making, with environmental and social concerns taken into account at all phases of a project, from the initial design to the end of construction or operation, as the case may be. It helps shape the design process so that the project is not only economically and technically feasible, but also optimized so that it is well integrated into its host environment and more broadly acceptable from an environmental perspective.

Hydro-Québec’s operations in numbers:

  • 61 hydropower generating stations
  • 34,800 km of transmission lines
  • 538 transmission substations
  • 226,750 km of distribution lines
  • $2 billion invested in construction in 2020 
  • $80 billion in assets to be maintained across Québec
  • $125 million in environmental investments per year

To learn more about Hydro-Québec’s environmental activities:


For information:

Francis Labbé
514 268-1394

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