Ontario passes Bill 133
TORONTO, ONT-Ontario is fulfilling its commitment to get tough on polluters with the passage of Bill 133, the "you spill, you pay" legislation, Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky said recently. "Bill 133 will be a valuable compliance tool to ensure that companies take measures to prevent spills and, if they do occur, that they are rectified quickly," said Dombrowsky. "All money collected from penalties will go to a dedicated fund to assist communities in dealing with the impact of spills." The bill went to an all-party government committee hearing in late May, where numerous amendments were made to improve the legislation, based on representations by several environmental groups, industry and local community groups who appeared before the committee. Bill 133 gives Ministry of the Environment directors the authority to impose a penalty of up to $100,000 a day to companies responsible for unlawful spills and emissions. The government intends to apply environmental penalties to those facilities affected by the Municipal-Industrial Strategy for Abatement (MISA) regulations. With its passage, Ontario has joined other Canadian jurisdictions, the United States and many countries around the world in using environmental penalties as a compliance and enforcement tool.