Regulatory framework - Agriculture
|Canola field - Photo:
The principal regulation covering soil and water protection in
agricultural environments is the
Agricultural Operations Regulation (AOR).
Some operators must also comply with the
Withdrawal and Protection Regulation and the
Regulation respecting the declaration of water withdrawals.
Guide to recycling residual fertilizers (French,
PDF, 2.6 MB) sets out
the criteria governing the
agricultural use of residual fertilizers. The agricultural use of
pesticides is also subject to legal constraints.
To ensure the quality of farmland and the rehabilitation and safe reuse of
soils in Québec,
reminder (French, PDF,
231 KB) has been produced in collaboration with the Commission de
protection du territoire agricole du Québec.
activities require a Certificate of Authorization, pursuant to the
Regulation respecting the application of the Environment Quality Act
(section 2, paragraph 12).
Learn MBre about the AOR:
History of the AOR
The AOR came into effect on June 14, 2002, following a process aimed at
Regulation respecting the reduction of pollution from agricultural sources,
which came into effect in 1997.
It puts forward an approach aimed at resolving the problem of diffuse
pollution caused by agriculture, in essence by achieving a soil phosphorus
balance. This new management approach takes account of plant nutrient needs
and is based on the true calculation of farm-produced manure.
The Regulation also sets standards that apply to animal raising and
storage facilities as well as to the elimination and/or reuse of manure, the
removal of animals from waterways and riparian strips, cultivated acreage
increases in impaired watersheds and Ministère administrative authorization
and project notice requirements.
Numerous amendments have been made to the AOR since 2002:
- December 2002: clarification of sections 22 and 48 in order to facilitate
- November 2003: amendments to sections 45, 46 and 47 on
maintaining hog production constraints.
- December 2004: amendments to sections 45 to 47.1 on
maintaining hog production constraints; and the addition of
sections 50.1 to 50.4 dealing with the load capacity of
aquatic environments with respect to agricultural activities
- October 2005: changes to agro-environmental standards in
sections 8, 9, 17, 18, 22, 29, 31, 32, 48 and 50;
administrative requirement abatements to sections 46 and 47,
and changes to sections 39, 44 and 51 and schedules II to V
in order to detail and update the list of municipalities
- September 2007: clarification of the provisions of section 29 on spreading
fertilizers of special origins on pasture lands or parcels thereof where
crops are intended for human consumption
- July 2010: amendments to sections 3, 9, 16, 20, 21, 24,
26-29, 32-36, 39-44, 48-50 and 55, and schedules II to VI
- April 2012: amendments to allow the electronic submission of phosphorus
reports, the resolution of various issues relating to standards in impaired
watershed and updates to schedules VI and VII
- July 2013: amendments targeting the harmonization of the regulation with new
penal administrative sanctions
- March 2017: amendments to the coverage thresholds
stipulated in sections 39 and 42 to match the Environment
Quality Act’s environmental authorization scheme
La Prairie (PDF,
Lévis (secteur nord-est)
Lévis (secteur sud) (PDF,