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Sarnia Oil Company Fined $70,000 for Sewage Works Violations

Court Bulletin

Sarnia Oil Company Fined $70,000 for Sewage Works Violations

Sarnia - Enbridge Pipelines Inc. (Enbridge) was fined $70,000 for operating, altering or extending an existing sewage works, not in accordance with a Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Amended Certificate of Approval (C of A), for an Industrial Sewage Works, contrary to the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA).

Enbridge operates a storm water collection system at its facility on Plank Road, Sarnia. The system includes two storm water ponds where water is collected from an on-site drainage ditch system. The storm water is then discharged intermittently to the Cole Drain, flowing to the St. Clair River.

In June 2013, the ministry conducted a site inspection during the construction of ten excavation pits. The inspection noted that water was accumulating in the excavation pits.

Water from five of the excavation pits was being pumped to the drainage ditch network with hoses and pumps. At the same time water from the other five excavation pits was being vacuumed up and trucked off-site.

During the inspection, the ministry officer was concerned that the accumulated excavation water could be contaminated and a water sample was collected and sent for analysis. The officer also indicated to Enbridge that redirecting water from the excavations to the storm water system was a contravention of the company's C of A. The officer requested that Enbridge cease using the drainage ditch network to remove the excavation water. Additionally, the C of A did not approve the use of hoses and pumps to take water from the excavation pits to the storm water drainage ditches.

The company continued pumping excavation water to the drainage ditch network until the end of July 2013, when a Provincial Officer's Order was issued, requiring that Enbridge cease discharging liquids from the excavations to any part of the sewage works, within seven days. Enbridge complied with the order.

In September 2013, the water sample analysis from within the excavation area revealed elevated total suspended solids, cadmium and chromium, and pH .

The company was fined $70,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $17,500 and was given six months to pay the fine.

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