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Former Gas Station Property Owner fined $45,000 for Environmental Protection Act Violations

Court Bulletin

Former Gas Station Property Owner fined $45,000 for Environmental Protection Act Violations

Convicted - David Sutter

Court Location - Owen Sound

Description of Offence -  The convictions relate to failing to comply with one or more items of a ministry order within the allocated timelines.

Date of Offence - During the period beginning on or about May 13, 2017 and ending on or about December 6, 2018.

Date of Conviction -September 23, 2019

Penalty Imposed - David Sutter was convicted of nine violations under the Environmental Protection Act and was fined $45,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $11,250 and was given 15 days to pay the fine. As part of sentencing, Mr. Sutter was issued a Section 190 Court Order which requires that he meet the demands of the original ministry orders.

Background:

  • David Sutter is the owner of a site that was historically operated as a gas station on Highway 6 in South Bruce Peninsula. The site has been abandoned for several years.
  • At the time of the conviction, Mr. Sutter was living in Boisetown, New Brunswick.
  • In 2017, the ministry issued an order and an amendment to Mr. Sutter, resulting from ministry concerns about petroleum hydrocarbon contamination on-site and potential hydrocarbon migration off-site to neighboring properties and to groundwater.
  • The orders required Mr. Sutter to complete several items including hiring a qualified consultant to complete a written report detailing the extent of hydrocarbon impact, along with remediation recommendations and a detailed schedule for the implementation of recommended measures. Mr. Sutter did not complete any of the requirements on the orders and at the time of conviction, continued to be in violation of the requirements.
  • The ministry's Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigation resulted in nine charges and nine subsequent convictions along with the issuance of the Court Order.
  • The defendant was sentenced in absentia following an ex parte trial in Owen Sound Court.

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