Commercial Greenhouse and Company Director fined $12,000 for Ontario Water Resources Act Violations
Windsor - Hillside Hothouse Ltd and David Mastronardi pleaded guilty to two offences each and were fined a total of $12,000 for failing to comply with conditions of a Permit to Take Water, contrary to the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA).
Hillside Hothouse Limited is a large commercial greenhouse that produces vegetables from a location on County Road 34 in the Municipality of Kingsville.
David Mastronardi is the President and Director of the company.
The company uses watering and/or irrigation in its commercial agricultural operation.
The company has a Permit To Take Water (PTTW) containing terms and conditions that must be complied with.The facility operates two wells from which water is drawn.
On November 23, 2015, ministry staff contacted Mr. Mastronardi to schedule a PTTW inspection.
On November 25, 2015, Mr. Mastronardi sent an email to the ministry advising that the company did not have any device installed for well water level monitoring, as required by the PTTW.
On December 10, 2015, ministry staff attended the facility to conduct an inspection.
During the inspection, ministry staff asked for all water taking records, as required by the PTTW. The company failed to produce a record of all water takings for inspection immediately upon request by the ministry.
The matter was referred to the Ministry's Investigations and Enforcement Branch and following an investigation charges were laid.
On January 16, 2017, Hillside Hothouse Ltd. was convicted of two offences, was fined $10,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $2,500 and was given 180 days to pay the fine. On the same date, David Mastronardi was convicted of one offence, was fined $2,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $500 and was given 180 days to pay the fine.