Protecting Our Natural Beauty

The MRC Pontiac is an extremely environmentally rich territory, with its many lakes and rivers, forests and other natural environments of incredible beauty.


There are over 4,000 lakes and rivers on the territory, the main ones being the Rivière des Outaouais, Rivière Coulonge, Rivière Dumoine, Rivière Noire and Rivière Quyon.


The forest environment is mixed, with a predominance of hardwoods, and supports varied and abundant fauna.


These aspects give the MRC Pontiac a distinct advantage for vacationers, recreational boaters and hunting, fishing and outdoor enthusiasts.

With knowledge of the delicate balance between human development and the protection of natural resources, the MRC Pontiac is involved in the preservation of the environment, notably through the exercise of its jurisdictions, namely :


– land use planning;

– watercourse management;

– waste management;

– tree planting and felling in private forests;

– management of the unorganized territory of Lac-Nilgaut.


 Together, as a community, let’s create a sustainable future for the MRC Pontiac!

Watercourse Management

Effective January 1st, 2006, the MRC Pontiac has exclusive jurisdiction of watercourses on its territory under Sections 103 to 110 of the Municipal Powers Act (L.Q. 2005, Chapter 6).  By-law Number 138-2008 to regulate all matters relating to the flow of watercourses within the MRC Pontiac was adopted in 2009, in order to better govern watercourses under this jurisdiction.

In order to effectively manage watercourses over its large territory, the MRC has signed an agreement with the municipalities to ensure proper water flow and to establish a framework for watercourse maintenance and improvement project procedures.

By adopting and following these regulations, we are providing protection and safety to our residents, as well as preserving the health of rivers and streams and their surrounding habitats. The MRC Pontiac is also a tourist destination renowned for our recreational water activities. Let’s preserve this natural resource!

In order to further protect our rivers, streams, and lakes, we need your help too!


Guide to Sustainable Boating on the Ottawa River

The Ottawa River is a major attraction for boaters. It offers unique landscapes and ideal conditions for a wide range of aquatic activities. However, boating can have negative environmental impacts on water quality and ecosystems, which in turn can be detrimental to recreational boating.

Consequently, boaters must opt for good environmental practices. The Ottawa Riverkeeper “Guide to sustainable boating on the Ottawa River” proposes actions that all boaters can adopt now to protect the health and richness of the Ottawa River waterway in perpetuity.

Most of the recommendations presented in this guide are also relevant to boating on other rivers and lakes in the MRC Pontiac territory.


Protect Against Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, can be detrimental to lakes and waterways for several reasons. They produce toxins that can harm humans, animals, and aquatic life, and their rapid growth can deplete oxygen levels in the water, killing fish and disrupting the ecosystem. These blooms also lead to environmental imbalances, reduced biodiversity, aesthetic deterioration, and potential contamination of drinking water sources.


Septic Tank Maintenance

Quebec residents are required by regulation to empty their tank every two (2) years for permanent residents and every four (4) years for seasonal residents. See the Government of Quebec’s Regulation respecting waste water disposal systems for isolated dwellings 


Agricultural Watercourses

Here’s a practical guide to farmland cultivated beside a watercourse, produced by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.


Waste Management

Since April 1st2010, all in-trench landfill sites on the MRC territory have been closed. Municipalities are now responsible for collecting and/or receiving household waste at designated reception sites. The collected waste is then transferred to the transfer center in Clarendon, before being transported to the landfill site in Lachute, Quebec. For hours of operation and collection details, please contact your municipality.

The MRC Pontiac offers users of its unorganized territory (TNO) the possibility of depositing their waste at the four ecocentres in the following municipalities: Otter Lake, Mansfield-et-Pontefract, Rapides-des-Joachims and Sheenboro. These four ecocentres are located on the main roads serving the TNO, to optimize service geographically for TNO users.


According to Recyc-Québec, a provincial organisation mandated to manage recycling at the provincial level, every person in Québec produces on average, 724 kg of waste per year (2012). The composition of this garbage is organic matter (44%), paper/cardboard (19%), plastic (7%), glass (6%), metal (3%) and other materials (21%).

The 2019-2024 Action Plan of the Quebec Residual Materials Management Policy is to reduce the amount of residual materials disposed of per capita to 525 kilograms or less, and to recycle 75% of residual paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and metal. A summary of the action plan is available here.


All municipalities in the MRC Pontiac have recycling programs. Some have door to door collection while others have bins for drop-off at local reception sites. Regardless of the system in place in your municipality, please recycle and reduce the amount of waste you produce! Your local municipality can provide you with a list of items that are accepted.


As part of the above-mentioned action plan, the goal is to recycle 60% of compostable organic matter. Some municipalities are currently developing organic matter collection programs, so stay tuned! Home composting is also encouraged.

Composting significantly reduces the amount of household waste that is generated, reducing transportation costs and greenhouse gas emissions!

Hazardous Household Materials

When disposing of hazardous household materials, it is crucial to follow proper guidelines and regulations to ensure environmental and human safety.  Collection depots for waste oil, empty paint cans, and batteries are provided at most reception sites, as well as at the transfer station. Contact your local municipality for information about what items are collected.

If you have any questions about waste management, please contact our environmental coordinator:




Kari Richardson, at 819-648-5689 ext. 235, or by e-mail at k.richardson@mrcpontiac.qc.ca.

Climate Change

In March of 2011, the MRC Pontiac adopted an Environmental Policy and committed to reducing greenhouse gases within the office, as well as raising public awareness. That same year, an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions at the municipal level was published, followed by the creation of an action plan to reduce emissions.

Beginning in 2019, the MRC placed renewed emphasis on climate protection by updating these municipal inventories and creating awareness campaigns that can be used by both employees and citizens.

Accountability of the Transitional Regime

The Regulation respecting the provisional implementation of the amendments made by Chapter 7 of the Statutes of 2021 with respect to flood risk management (Transitional regime) came into effect on March 1, 2022. Municipalities and MRCs have reporting obligations with respect to the application of the Municipal Authorization Regime for activities carried out in water environments, as provided for in the transitional regime.

Municipalities must keep a register of authorizations issued under the transitional regime and transmit information on these authorizations to the MRC. Based on the information received from the local municipalities, the MRC Pontiac is responsible for publishing an annual report of authorizations issued by March 31 of each year. 


The publication of this report must be present for a minimum of 5 years.

For more information on the transitional regime, we invite you to visit the Government of Quebec’s website on this subject.

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