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Trucking Company fined $250,000 for Ontario Water Resources Act Violation

Court Bulletin

Trucking Company fined $250,000 for Ontario Water Resources Act Violation

Convicted - Titanium Trucking Services Inc.

Court Location - Brockville Court

Description of Offence - The conviction relates to permitting the discharge of fluorosilicic acid into the natural environment, which caused adverse effects.

Date of Offence - During the period on or about March 14, 2017

Date of Conviction - January 9, 2019

Penalty Imposed - Titanium Trucking Services Inc. was convicted of one violation under the Environmental Protection Act and was fined $250,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $62,500 and was given 24 months to pay the fine.

Background - 

  • Titanium Trucking Services Inc. is a trucking company headquartered in Bolton. At the time of the offence, the company had a contract with a Burlington area chemical company to provide drivers and vehicles on a dedicated basis for chemical product transportation.
  • In January 2017, the Burlington area chemical company placed an order for 81,000 kg of 37-42% fluorosilicic acid, which was required for pickup in Montreal for transport to Burlington.  Fluorosilicic acid is a corrosive liquid, classified as a dangerous good. 
  • On the date of the planned chemical pick-up, Environment Canada had issued weather advisories relating to a major winter storm and the public was instructed to consider postponing non-essential travel.
  • The chemical pick-up occurred as planned on March 14, 2017, and within four hours after leaving Montreal, the truck and the driver were involved in a multi-vehicle collision while traveling westbound on Highway 401. As a result of the collision 15 totes of fluorosilicic acid ejected through the front wall of the trailer and also came to rest in the roadside ditch.
  • Eight of the totes of acid that ejected from the trailer were punctured and spilled approximately 8,000 litres of acid into the ditch and onto the truck cab, dousing the driver, which eventually resulted in his death later in hospital.
  • The acid discharge caused further adverse effects. First responders and members of the public had to be decontaminated, the 401 highway was closed in both directions, and the OPP officer who initially attempted to extract the truck driver from the cab on scene experienced significant health effects. In addition, adverse impacts to the roadside soil ecosystem occurred.
  • The ministry's Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid charges which resulted in one conviction.

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