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Township Fined $12,000 For Environmental Compliance Approval Violations

Archived Court Bulletin

Township Fined $12,000 For Environmental Compliance Approval Violations

L'Orignal - The Corporation of the Township of Russell pleaded guilty to two offences and was fined $12,000 for non-compliance with an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA), contrary to the Environmental Protection Act.

The town formerly owned and operated the Russell waste disposal site. The site landfill operator noticed that a waste fuel barrel containing approximately 50 litres of fuel was leaking. This waste is categorized as hazardous waste. The waste barrel was moved by front end loader to an adjacent property leased by the township, but not part of the township's approved waste disposal site.

The waste fuel was to be used to ignite and burn a large pile of clean brush, and subsequently, the operator dumped the fuel on the brush and moved the front end loader well away from the anticipated fire. Without the knowledge of or direction from the township, the operator attempted to light a small hand-held torch in order to ignite the bush pile. However, as soon as the operator ignited the torch, he was engulfed in flames, resulting in burns to his face, forearms and lower legs.

The matter was referred to the ministry's Investigations and Enforcement Branch, which resulted in charges being laid, and then a conviction.

The guilty plea relates to non-compliance with an ECA for having untrained staff on duty and also for permitting subject waste to leave the ECA approved facility.

The town pleaded guilty to two offences, was fined $12,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $3,000 and was given 90 days to pay the fine.

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