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Concrete Batching Company and Company Director/President fined $160,000 for Environmental Protection Act Violations

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Concrete Batching Company and Company Director/President fined $160,000 for Environmental Protection Act Violations

Toronto - A Toronto concrete batching company ML Ready Mix Concrete Inc. and its Director pleaded guilty to six offences and were fined $160,000, for discharging a contaminant that caused an adverse effect and various Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) violations, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).

ML Ready Mix Concrete Inc. (ML) is a registered corporation in the Province of Ontario. ML is located at 29 Judson Street in Toronto.

The property was previously used by CN rail for storage of rail ties and maintenance equipment. Judson Street is a mixed residential and light industrial area with homes located on the north side and industry located on the south side. Renato Silva was a Director of ML until approximately December 2014.

ML has been operating a concrete batching plant at the property since at least 2008. Complaints regarding dust from ML began to be registered with the ministry in September 2011.

On September 19, 2013 the ministry issued an Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) to ML. Director Renato Silva was aware of the requirements set out in the ECA. Renato Silva attended meetings with ministry staff regarding the need for compliance with the ECA and the defendants were advised of concerns of residents and the ministry's position on the conditions in the ECA relating to those concerns.

Residents on Judson Street and Harold Street complained to the ministry about dust and noise emissions. Residents were upset by the lack of peace and quiet at times they expect industries to be closed. They stated that ML was operating into the evening and early in the morning including Saturdays.

In response to the complaints from residents, the ministry took action to bring ML into compliance, including undertaking an investigation for alleged violations of the EPA which resulted in charges being laid.

ML installed several noise mitigation measures to comply with ML's ECA and to address the neighbours' complaints. This was confirmed by ministry abatement staff inspections in November 2013 and January 2014. A condition of ML's ECA, stipulates that an independent acoustic audit on the actual noise due to operations of the facility was required and had to be submitted to the ministry by April 19, 2014.

An assessment by a consultant dated April 17, 2014 indicated that sound was in excess of the noise standard. ML has since complied with the standard.

On March 17, 2016, ML Ready Mix Concrete was convicted of five offences under the EPA and was fined $130,000 plus a victim fine surcharge (VFS) of $32,500. On the same date, Renato Silva was also convicted of one offence under the EPA and was fined $30,000 plus a VFS of $7,500; both defendants were given 120 days to the pay the fines.

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