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Picton Construction Company fined $50,000 for Ontario Water Resource Act (OWRA) Violations

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Picton Construction Company fined $50,000 for Ontario Water Resource Act (OWRA) Violations

Picton - Local construction company Cleave Energy Inc. pleaded guilty to two offences and was fined a total of $50,000, for discharging material into a watercourse that caused an impairment of the watercourse, and for failing to forthwith notify the ministry of the discharge, contrary to the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA).

Cleave Energy Inc. has operated a construction business in the Picton area since 1984.

On January 14, 2014 the ministry responded to a complaint of contaminated run-off from the Cleave Energy facility on Sandy Hook Road into the adjacent drainage ditch that empties into the Warring Creek.

Ministry staff inspected the site and confirmed t a coloured sheen appeared on the creek surface adjacent to the Cleave facility.

Further investigation revealed numerous spills of petroleum waste at the site due to inadequate maintenance and poor storage resulting in the waste material entering the creek. The investigation also found inside a building a pump discharging oily mixture to the creek.

A ministry order was issued with several conditions to clean-up the site and the creek.

On April 3, 2014 a ministry officer conducted a follow-up inspection and noticed a discharge pipe running from the Cleave facility site catch basin into the drainage ditch, with evidence that it had recently been pumping directly to the ditch.

On April 6, 2014 the ministry received another complaint that the site was again discharging to the creek. A water sample was taken, and a ministry expert opinion confirmed that there was impairment to the creek. Throughout, Cleave Energy failed to notify the ministry of the discharge.

On November 20, 2015, Cleave Energy Inc. was convicted of two offences and was fined $50,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $12,500 and was given 6 months to pay the fine.

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