May 23, 2005

Composting operation, former president fined over $38K for dicharge, noncompliance offences

HAMILTON, ONT-Waterdown Garden Supplies and its former president, David DiCecca, recently pleaded guilty to a combined total of 12 charges under Ontario's Environmental Protection Act (EP Act) and the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA). They were fined a total of $38,750 plus victim fine surcharge.The court was told that on some days between late November 2002 and early October 2003, odours from the composting facility operated by the company in west Hamilton were sufficient to prevent local residents from barbecuing outdoors. In August 2003 as well, the company discharged manure into the municipal ditch. The company and its president were charged following a comprehensive investigation by the Ministry of Environment's (MOE) investigations and enforcement branch. Charges against Waterdown Garden Supplies included discharging a contaminant, i.e. odour, into the natural environment which caused or was likely to cause an adverse effect, in violation of section 14(1) of the EP Act; and discharging manure into the municipal ditch with the potential to impair water quality, contrary to section 30(1) of the OWRA; the company was fined $15,000 and $5,000, respectively, for these two offences. The firm was also fined another $15,000 on five more charges of failing to comply with various conditions of its certificate of approval and with two provincial officer's orders, in violation of sections 186(2) and 186(3) of the EP Act. David DiCecca, who was involved in the company's day-to-day operations of the company, was fined $3,750 after pleading guilty to the same five charges.

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