|A roundup of important new legislation, regulations, government announcements and court cases that we covered in the Environmental Compliance Insider in 2013.
[box]TOP 3 PENALTIES AGAINST COMPANIES[/box]
1. $1.85 Million (AB)
A demolition company pleaded guilty to knowingly operating a landfill without registration under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and conducting an activity related to the destruction of a wetland under the Water Act. The court fined it $20,000 and ordered it to remove the unauthorized landfill and remediate the site at an estimated cost of $1.85 million [McColman & Sons Demolition Ltd., Govt. News Release, Jan. 29, 2013].
2. $1.1 Million (ON)
Four companies operated a waste disposal site for the processing and transfer of solid non-hazardous industrial and commercial waste. There was a fire at the site that burned for several days and resulted in adverse effects to nearby residents. The companies and three directors/operators were convicted of causing or permitting the discharge of contaminants into the environment as a result of the fire. The court fined the three companies a total of $1.1. million. The three directors/operators were fined a total of $47,000 and sentenced to 11 days in jail [310 Waste Ltd., 2020700 Ontario Inc., 2020780 Ontario Inc., Rail Cycle Inc., Robert Sansone, Edmon Hanna and Guido Titton, Govt. News Release, March 25, 2013].
3. $500,000 (NB)
A salmon farm was found to have used cypermethrin, an agricultural pesticide that isn’t permitted for use in marine environments, to address a sea lice infestation in its open pens, killing lobsters. The farm pleaded guilty to violating the federal Fisheries Act. The court fined it $100,000 and ordered it to pay $50,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund, $250,000 towards scholarships and $100,000 to support of environmental studies and research projects [Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd., Federal Govt. News Release, April 26, 2013].
[box]TOP 3 JAIL SENTENCES AGAINST INDIVIDUALS[/box]
1. 90 Days (ON)
An MOE investigation found that a man was responsible for depositing contaminated soil from a former auto body shop onto residential property that wasn’t an approved waste disposal site. The property owner was led to believe that the soil was clean fill and not contaminated. The man also failed to comply with court orders requiring him to remove the contaminated soil from the property. He pleaded guilty to two violations of the Environmental Protection Act. The court fined him $6,000 and sentenced him to 90 days in jail [Clifford W. Johnson, Govt. News Release, Jan. 11, 2013].
2. 30 Days (ON)
A municipality owned a system that distributes drinking water to its residents and is run by three operators. MOE staff inspected the system and found that that the minimum level of chlorine hadn’t been maintained, log books had been altered and false information had been provided to the MOE. In addition, the operators didn’t report occurrences to the MOE or the Medical Officer of Health when chlorine levels in the system were below the minimum level. The municipality and three operators were fined a total of $154,500 for drinking water violations. The lead operator was also sentenced to 30 days’ jail [Municipality of West Elgin, Lloyd Jarvis, Michael Kalita and Chad Yokom, Govt. News Release, Jan. 13, 2013].
3. 30 Days (ON)
A company was involved in the transportation of various waste materials under a ministry approval. A company vehicle, under the owner’s direction, picked up and deposited waste on property not approved by the MOE as a waste disposal site. In addition, a company employee was seen picking up and delivering waste to another unapproved waste disposal site. The company and owner were convicted of violating their approval. The court fined the company $150,000 and sentenced the owner to 30 days’ jail [North Shore Express Ltd. and Daniel Tiessen, Govt. News Release, May 22, 2013].
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