January 5, 2004

Metal recycler fined $30K for untreated stormwater spill, will spend $750K on cleanup

BRAMPTON, ONT-2001116 Ontario Limited, operating a metal recycling business as Triple M Metal, was recently convicted of a charge under the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA) in relation to a release of oil-contaminated stormwater to Mimico Creek. The firm was fined $30,000 and levied a 25% victim fine surcharge. The court was told that at the time leading up to the offence the Brampton company was storing scrap metal in piles outdoors; some of the metal was covered in cutting oil that was often washed off by rain. The rainwater, along with the cutting oil, was diverted to a large stormwater management detention pond on the company's property. On April 11, 2002 a disconnection of an overflow pipe resulted in the release of approximately 500 cubic metres of stormwater from the detention pond into Mimico Creek, over a period of about half a day. The cutting oil component of the discharge was water-soluble, and caused the creek water to become opaque and milky white in appearance. Triple M Metal was convicted under section 30(1) of the OWRA and was fined $30,000, for permitting the discharge of a substance into Mimico Creek that may have impaired the quality of the water. To date, the company has spent more than $550,000 on cleanup and remediation efforts, and upgrading its stormwater management system. Estimated future costs to finalize a proposed permanent stormwater management plan are in the range of an additional $750,000.
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