May 10, 2004

Hockley Valley Resort fails to comply with PTTW terms, fined $9K

ORANGEVILLE, ONT-Hockley Valley Resort has been fined $9,000, plus a 25% victim fine surcharge, after pleading guilty to three counts of non-compliance with the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA). The charges related to violations of the terms and conditions set out in the resort's permit to take water (PTTW), issued by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) under the OWRA. The permit authorizes the golf and ski operation to use water from two on-site storage ponds next to the Nottawasaga River for golf course irrigation or snowmaking. It specifies how much water may be taken and the months during which it may be used for these activities, and requires the resort to submit an annual monitoring report of the current year's operations by March 31st of the following year. The operator was also required to complete a study by April 1998 to determine the extent of any hydraulic connection between the Nottawasaga River and either or both of the two storage ponds. An MOE review of the resort's water use statistics showed that water was used for snowmaking in November of 1999, 2000 and 2001; the permit allows this use only between December and March of each year. The resort also failed to submit annual monitoring reports until January, 2003 and did not undertake the required hydraulic connection study until November, 2001. Hockley Valley Resort pleaded guilty to the three counts and was fined $3,000 for each breach, for a total $9,000 fine, with 90 days given to pay. The sentence reflects the fact that the accused pleaded guilty and co-operated.
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