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St. Lawrence River Cargo Transfer Companies fined $55,000 and a Suspended Sentence for Environmental Protection Act Violation

Archived Court Bulletin

St. Lawrence River Cargo Transfer Companies fined $55,000 and a Suspended Sentence for Environmental Protection Act Violation

Convicted - Morrisburg Terminal Inc. and Les Terminaux Rideau Bulk Terminals Inc.

Location - Cornwall

Description of Offence -  Causing or permitting the discharge of a contaminant, namely salt, into the natural environment.

Date of Offence - Between October 3, 2015 and October 4, 2015

Date of Conviction - February 13, 2018

Penalty Imposed -

  • On February 13, 2018, Les Terminaux Rideau Bulk Terminals Inc. (RBTI) was convicted of one offence under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), was fined $55,000 plus a Victim Fine Surcharge (VFS) of $13,750 and was given 12 months to pay the fine.
  • Also on February 13, 2018, Morrisburg Terminal Inc. (MTI) was convicted of one offence under the EPA and was issued a suspended sentence.

Background - 

  • MTI owns a property on Concession 1 in Morrisburg (the site), which is a wharf and marine terminal located along the St. Lawrence River, consisting primarily of a large unloading platform used for receiving bulk salt from cargo ships.
  • RBTI operates the terminal facility pursuant to a throughput agreement.
  • On October 5, 2015, ministry staff received two complaints from residents adjacent to the site. They complained that on October 3 and 4, 2015, a high wind event caused an uncovered salt pile stored outdoors at the site to blow off and impact their properties. One resident witnessed a salt plume coming off the salt piles at the site and onto her property.
  • On the same day, ministry staff attended the site and observed that the salt pile was not covered. Staff also attended three neighbouring residential properties and observed that a white substance was evident on those properties also. A laboratory analysis later confirmed the white substance possessed the characteristics of road salt.
  • The ministry had in the past received similar complaints of salt deposits from the site, and brought these complaints to the attention of both MTI and RBTI.
  • The incidents were referred to the ministry's Investigations and Enforcement Branch, resulting in charges being laid and the convictions.

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Environment and Energy