William Lane sentenced to 18 months of jail for violating the Environmental Protection Act
LONDON -- On September 11, 2008, William Lane was sentenced to 18 months in jail for four violations of the Environmental Protection Act in connection with the operation of a waste tire business, including storing waste, operating a waste disposal site without a Certificate of Approval and failing to comply with a Director's order to remove excess tires. Mr. Lane's sentence is the longest jail term imposed for an environmental offence in the history of Ontario.
L.T. Recycling Inc. operated as a waste tire business located at 21755 Springfield Road, Melbourne, Ontario. William Lane owns the property and is the director of the company.
The Court heard that used tires had been accumulating on the site for more than 10 years. The site was not approved for the disposal of used tires, and numerous inspections by ministry staff since 1992 confirmed that the site was not in compliance with legislated requirements.
Mr. Lane was charged following an investigation by the Ministry of the Environment's Investigations and Enforcement Branch.
Mr. Lane was charged with failing to comply with a Director's order by failing to reduce the number of tire units to less than 5,000; operating a waste disposal site without a Certificate of Approval; using a facility for storage of waste that was not part of a waste management system for which a Certificate of Approval had been issued; and failing as a director of a corporation to take all reasonable care to prevent the company from contravening the Director's order.
On September 11, 2008, the Court issued an order to Mr. Lane that prohibited him from transporting, depositing, storing or processing designated wastes at the site. The order also stated that Mr. Lane must cease and desist working, operating or engaging in any business concerning or related to the recycling of designated wastes, including but not limited to used tires.
After exhausting its compliance and enforcement tools, the government announced in March 2008, that it would clean up this tire site. This clean up will resolve the long-standing issue around stockpiled tires at the site and the potential risks to surrounding community and the environment caused by contaminated run-off, and the Middlesex-London Health Unit's findings that the site posed a public health risk due to West Nile Virus.
Justice of the Peace Robert Ponton heard the case in London, Ontario and imposed sentence on September 11, 2008.