Construction Company Fined $120,000 for Water Quality Violations

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The MOE received complaints that sediment laden storm water and runoff was being discharged into Hudson Bay on Big Rideau Lake and that the source was believed to be activities at a solar generation facility construction project. A ministry officer conducted an inspection and observed significant sediment outside of the project’s fenced area and discoloured water in the watercourse. The officer then examined Hudson’s Bay and saw that the southern portion exhibited a brown discolouring. Samples found concentrations of total suspended solids that significantly exceeded water quality guidelines, and may potentially impair water quality and kill fish. As a result, the construction company pleaded guilty to discharging a material into water that may impair the quality of the water and failing to report the discharge in violation of the Ontario Water Resources Act. The court fined it $120,000 and ordered it to ensure that a fish habitat embayment is constructed in the Rideau River Watershed at the company’s expense [Aecon Construction and Materials Ltd., Govt. News Release, Feb. 8, 2017].