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Oakville Aerospace Company fined $25,000 for Failing to Notify Ministry of Oil Spill

Court Bulletin

Oakville Aerospace Company fined $25,000 for Failing to Notify Ministry of Oil Spill

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change

Convicted - Vac Aero International Inc.

Location - Burlington

Description of Offence -  The conviction relates to failing to notify the ministry of a spill of a pollutant to the natural environment.

Date of Offence - August 23, 2015

Date of Conviction - November 14, 2017

Penalty Imposed - Vac Aero International Inc. was convicted of one offence under the Environmental Protection Act, was fined $25,000 plus a victim fine surcharge (VFS) of $6,000 with 30 days to pay.

Background - 

  • Vac Aero International Inc. (Vac Aero) operates a facility on Speers Rd. in Oakville (the site) and specializes in heat treating aerospace landing components. In their business, the company uses oil quench vacuum furnaces, with a brand of oil known as Iloquench 33 Oil.
  • On August 23, 2015, approximately 27,750 litres of oil discharged from an on-site furnace when a joint coupling on the piping system separated. Some of the oil discharged to the storm sewer, which eventually led to 14 Mile Creek, causing a sheen and discolouration on the surface of the creek.
  • Vac Aero employees eventually identified that the total volume of oil lost from the furnace was greater than the amount captured in the oil-water separator, and placed absorbent pads around the storm sewers on and around the site.
  • At no point did Vac Aero notify the ministry of the spill.
  • The Oakville Fire Department notified the ministry's Spills Action Centre (SAC) of the spill and advised that Vac Aero had retained contractors' who were acting to mitigate impacts from the spill.   
  • The incidents were referred to the ministry's Investigations and Enforcement branch, resulting in one charge and one conviction.

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Environment and Energy