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L&J Farms Ltd. and Corey Yake fined $80,000 for liquid fertilizer spill

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L&J Farms Ltd. and Corey Yake fined $80,000 for liquid fertilizer spill

NEWMARKET - On September 29, 2008, L&J Farms Ltd. and Corey Yake pleaded guilty to charges related to a spill of liquid fertilizer to the Little Rouge River which caused a fish kill. They were fined a total of $80,000 plus a victim fine surcharge.

L&J Farms Ltd. is a crop farming business located in Whitchurch-Stouffville.

The Court heard that on May 7, 2007, Mr. Yake was driving a company tractor trailer carrying liquid fertilizer that was on route to a field for application. As the truck turned from Highway 48 onto westbound Stouffville Road, one end of the storage tank severed off from the rest of the tank, causing the contents to spill out of the trailer onto both roads. Mr. Yake then pulled the tractor trailer over to the shoulder of the road and opened the trailer door, resulting in a large spill of the liquid fertilizer into an adjacent storm sewer that drained into the Little Rouge River. The spill resulted in a fish kill along several kilometers of the Little Rouge River tributary. The ministry was not notified of the spill.

L&J Farms Ltd. and Mr. Yake were charged following an investigation by the Ministry of the Environment's Investigations and Enforcement Branch.

L&J Farms Ltd. pled guilty to one count of discharging urea ammonium nitrate into the Little Rouge River Tributary, which did impair the quality of the water, contrary to s. 30(1) of the Ontario Water Resources Act. The company was fined $75,000 in sentencing. Mr. Yake pled guilty to failing to notify the ministry of the discharge, contrary to s. 30(2) of the Ontario Water Resources Act. Mr. Yake was fined $5,000 in sentencing.

Justice of the Peace Roberto Zito heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket, Ontario and imposed sentence on September 29, 2008.

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