Newalta Corporation Fined $79,950 for Discharging a Contaminant Causing an Adverse Effect
St. Catherines - Alberta-based Newalta Corporation has plead guilty and was fined $79,950 for permitting the discharge of a contaminant from its Pettit Rd, Fort Erie waste disposal site that caused an adverse effect, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act.
On April 30th, 2012 the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) received a complaint of a yellow plume with an acidic odour coming from the stacks at the Newalta Facility. Two employees of nearby businesses complained of discomfort from the discharge including a sore throat. The discharge caused two surrounding businesses to shut their doors and turn on exhauster fans.
The incident was assessed and it was determined that serious short term effects on human health were unlikely to occur however exposed persons may have experienced nose and throat discomfort.
The discharge occurred during the treatment of pool chemicals. An operator for Newalta did not add a necessary chemical during the treatment process which caused chlorine gas to generate and ultimately discharge through a stack into the natural environment. According to Newalta, this incident has not happened before and corrective action has been taken to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Newalta Corporation was fined $79,950 plus a victim fine surcharge and was given six months to pay the fine.