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Hydroponic Greenhouse fined $5,000 for Environmental Protection Act Violations

Court Bulletin

Hydroponic Greenhouse fined $5,000 for Environmental Protection Act Violations

Convicted - Cielo Vista Farms Inc.

Court Locatio - Leamington

Description of Offence - The convictions relate to failing to comply with a ministry approval by failing to maintain/produce stormwater management works inspection logs, and for failing to submit annual performance reports.

Date of Offence - During the period beginning on or about April 2, 2017 and ending on or about September 28, 2017.

Date of Conviction - August 19, 2019.

Penalty Imposed - Cielo Vista Farms Inc. was convicted of two violations, under the Environmental Protection Act and was fined $2,500 for each violation for a total fine of $5,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $1,500 with 90 days to pay the fine.

Background

  • Cielo Vista operates a hydroponic greenhouse facility in Leamington which grows fruits and vegetables.
  • In 2014, the company purchased the site and took over operations from the former greenhouse operator, who was under ministry approval for the on-site stormwater management works
  • During a 2015 site inspection, ministry staff advised Cielo Vista of the ministry approval and reviewed the contents and the requirements with the company.
  • In June 2016, the company undertook the process to have the ministry transfer the approval to their name.
  • In August 2017, ministry staff conducted a compliance inspection on-site and requested to review the on-site logbook showing the results of mandatory inspections and stormwater management works cleaning and maintenance records. The ministry was advised that no such logbook existed.
  • During the same inspection, it was identified that annual reports for 2015 and 2016 had not been completed and submitted as required under the ministry approval.
  • The ministry's Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid charges resulting in the two convictions.

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