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Construction Company fined $ 220,000 for Ontario Water Resources Act Violations

Court Bulletin

Construction Company fined $ 220,000 for Ontario Water Resources Act Violations

Ottawa - Thomas Cavanagh Construction Limited (TCCL) was fined $220,000 on July 21, 2017 for four offences under the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA).  TCCL had been found guilty of these offences on June 9, 2017, which were related to discharging materials into a watercourse and failing to notify the ministry contrary to the OWRA.

Thomas Cavanagh Construction Limited (TCCL) is a construction and quarrying company that operates from an office on Cavanagh Rd. in Ashton. 

On January 2, 2013, TCCL was hired to install the stormwater infrastructure at the Blackstone community, in accordance with an approved design plan.The work commenced at the end of January 2013.

The Blackstone community site is located on a former agricultural site located in South Kanata, Ottawa close to the intersection of Terry Fox Dr. and Fernbank Rd.

In close proximity to the site is the Monahan Drain, which is an agricultural drainage works that flows into the Jock River and has a catchment area that supports a warm water fish habitat.  The headwaters of the Drain are located at the Blackstone community. 

Prior to construction of the stormwater infrastructure, a number of approvals had been obtained, including ministry approvals for the construction of the stormwater management facility identified as West Park Pond 6, alterations to the Monahan Drain, a Permit to Take Water (PTTW) for construction dewatering, and  permission from Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) to permit the alteration of a waterway.

On June 11, 2013, a RVCA Inspector conducted an inspection of the construction activities at the Blackstone community and observed excessive sediment discharge to the Drain. It was also noted that sediment and erosion control measures were ineffective, that the measures had not been properly maintained, and were inconsistent with the approved plan.  On that date, the RVCA Inspector revoked the RVCA permit, and referred the matter to the ministry.

On June 13, 2013, ministry staff and the RVCA Inspector conducted a second inspection of the site and noted that although there had been some improvements made from two days prior, some of the control measures were still ineffective and not in line with the approved sediment and erosion control measures plan.

TCCL had assumed responsibility by contract for controlling the discharge of sediments and reporting any discharges. However, the ministry received no report from TCCL regarding the discharges that were observed on either dates.

Subsequently, the matter was referred to the Investigations and Enforcement Branch.  Following an investigation, the defendant was charged.

On June 9, 2017, Thomas Cavanagh Construction Limited was convicted. The company was convicted of four offences, and on July 21, 2017 was fined $220,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $55,000 and was given 3 months to pay.

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