March 15, 2004

Dairy farm, owner to pay $19,500 for harmful discharge, failure to report

CAYUGA, ONT-Huigen Bros Farms and owner/operator Hendrik Huigen were fined a total of $19,500 for failing to comply with the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA). During an October 2000 inspection of the 620-acre dairy farm, located immediately north of Lake Erie in Haldimand County, Ministry of Environment (MOE) staff discovered that Huigen had excavated a drainage ditch to divert field runoff from his barn into a municipal ditch draining into Lake Erie. A follow-up inspection in February 2001 found that Huigen's discharges were again flowing into the municipal ditch. Samples of the discharges were tested and found capable of impairing water quality. Neither discharge was reported to the Ministry. Huigen Bros Farms and Huigen were convicted of four charges, including two counts each of discharging a substance with the potential to impair water quality and failing to report the discharge to the MOE, in contravention of Sections 30(1) and 30(2), respectively, of the OWRA. Total fines amounted to $19,500 and the parties were given one year to pay.
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