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Ready-Mix Concrete Company fined $50,000 for Failing to Notify Ministry of a Spill

Archived Court Bulletin

Ready-Mix Concrete Company fined $50,000 for Failing to Notify Ministry of a Spill

Convicted - Lafarge Canada Inc.

Location - St. Catharines

Description of Offence -  The conviction relates to failing to notify the ministry of a spill of a pollutant to the natural environment, namely slag particulate

Date of Offence - July 23, 2014

Date of Conviction - November 22, 2017

Penalty Imposed -  Lafarge Canada Inc., was convicted of one offence under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), and was fined $50,000 plus a victim fine surcharge (VFS) of $12,500 with 90 days to pay. A Section 190 Court Order was also issued by the court to Lafarge, which requires the company to install abatement technology on Silo #2 at its Niagara Falls facility, as a preventative measure.

Background -  

  • Lafarge Canada Inc. operates as a ready-mix concrete batching plant, located on Montrose Road in Niagara Falls.
  • On July 23, 2014, the ministry received a report from a residential neighbour that his property and vehicle were covered in a fine white particulate.
  • Ministry staff responded, observed the white particulate, and took photographs and samples of the material for testing an analysis.
  • During the inspection, it was observed that the Lafarge site was adjacent to the impacted property.
  • Ministry staff investigated with Lafarge and were informed that the company had received a load of slag cement earlier that day, and that when the load was being filled into the silo, the silo was overfilled resulting in a release of particles of cement slag.  
  • The ministry officer informed Lafarge that a neighboring property had been impacted; Lafarge agreed to contact the neighbour and clean the property. 
  • Samples from both Lafarge and the adjacent property contained glassy calcium silicate slag. 
  • The incidents were referred to the ministry's Investigations and Enforcement Branch, resulting in charges and one conviction.

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Environment and Energy