Montréal, April 5, 2024 – This week, the Centre québécois du droit de l’environnement (CQDE) and the three citizen co-plaintiffs added new elements to the legal proceedings in the Northvolt case before the Superior Court. These additions are aimed at challenging the regulatory amendment that set aside the holding of a BAPE for Northvolt’s gigafactory project.

As soon as the preparatory work on the site of the gigafactory was announced in January, the CQDE, along with three other citizens, took legal action to ensure compliance with environmental protection laws.  Now, in addition to targeting the authorized destruction of sensitive environments, the legal proceedings are also addressing the regulatory changes made just before the project was announced. As a reminder, in July 2023, the government changed the rules that would have automatically subjected the first phases of the Northvolt plant to an impact assessment procedure involving the BAPE.

“We can’t allow governments to change standards at the client’s whim: such an override would set a dangerous precedent. In light of the information revealed in recent weeks, we feel that it’s all the more important to ensure respect for the rule of law and our democratic processes,” explains CQDE lawyer Camille Cloutier.

Since the fall of 2023, the CQDE, along with a large number of organizations and citizens, has been calling for a full assessment of the project’s impacts before a decision is made.

The parties will be back in court shortly to establish the next steps in the case.