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Picton Company Fined $350,000 For Discharge Violations

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Picton Company Fined $350,000 For Discharge Violations

Picton Bay - Essroc Canada Inc. (Essroc) was fined $350,000 for discharging dust into the natural environment and for failing to ensure that noise emissions complied with its Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) contrary to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).

Essroc operates a cement manufacturing facility in the Picton Bay area, which is surrounded by residential and agricultural properties. The company operates under an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA), issued by Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, which regulates all air emissions from the site.

On various dates between November, 2011, and April, 2012, the ministry received complaints regarding discharges of particulate emissions described as a brownish gray dust, haze, fog, smoke or smog, coming from the Essroc factory and coating personal property and area homes. During this period, the business had also notified the ministry's Spills Action Centre (SAC) of opacity exceedances and had subsequently filed written reports to this fact. Opacity is defined as an air emission that obstructs the passage of light by more than twenty per cent, for periods of at least six consecutive minutes.

Essroc pleaded guilty to discharging particulate or dust into the environment on November 12, 2011; November 20, 2011, and April 8, 2012, by, which caused an adverse effect, namely loss of enjoyment of normal use of property.

Between March, 2012, and June, 2012, the ministry also received complaints about excessive noise that occurred both day and night and affected local residents. Further inspection by the ministry, indicated that the noise was generated by heat exchanger fans, causing a specific tonal frequency and noise levels in excess of applicable sound limits.

Essroc also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with the ministry's noise guidelines as required by their ECA from March 14, 2012, to June 21, 2012.

The company was fined $350,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $87,500 and was given 90 days to pay the fine.

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