|A roundup of important new legislation, regulations, government announcements and court cases that we covered in the Environmental Compliance Insiderin 2012.
[box]Top 5 Penalties Against Companies[/box]
1. $1.1 Million (ON)
Four companies that ran a waste disposal site were convicted of causing or permitting the emission of a contaminant into the natural environment that caused an adverse effect after a fire erupted at the site. The court fined them a total of $1.1 million [310 Waste Ltd., Rail Cycle Inc., 2020700 Ontario Inc. and 2020780 Ontario Inc., Govt. News Release, Aug. 20, 2012].
2. $550,000 (BC)
Construction crews ruptured an underground pipeline and caused an oil geyser that released approximately 250,000 litres of synthetic crude oil into the land and marine environment of Burrard Inlet. Three companies pleaded guilty to violating the Environmental Management Act. The court sentenced them to pay a total of $550,000 in fines and penalties [B. Cusano Contracting Inc., R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd. and Trans Mountain Pipeline LP, Govt. News Release, Nov. 10, 2011].
3. $400,000 (QC)
A mining company pleaded guilty to nine environmental violations, including backfilling a bog without a C of A, improperly storing hazardous waste and discharging contaminants from a wastewater treatment system. The court fined it $400,000 and ordered it to pay more than $80,000 in investigation costs [Opinaca Mines Ltd., Govt. News Release, Dec. 22, 2011].
4. $285,000 (AB)
A builder’s subcontractor released approximately 12 million litres of chlorinated water, which is harmful to fish, into a river after hitting a water main during a construction project. The builder, as construction manager of the project, pleaded guilty to one violation of the Fisheries Act. The court ordered it to pay a $15,000 fine and $270,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund [Clark Builders, Govt. News Release, Jan. 13, 2012].
5. $247,000 (QC)
A company pleaded guilty to operating a quarry without a C of A and within 600 metres of a dwelling. It was fined $247,000 [Les Dubé Careers & Fils Inc., Govt. News Release, Dec. 20, 2011].
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