January 5, 2004

Farm property used for waste disposal, operators fined $20K

WHITBY, ONT-Baumchen Farms, in the village of Blackstock, along with company president Michael Baumchen were fined a total of $20,000 and levied a 25% victim fine surcharge after pleading guilty to several violations of Ontario's Environmental Protection Act. Property owner John Baumchen Jr also pleaded guilty to a violation of the Act and received a suspended sentence. A Ministry of Environment (MOE) inspection of Baumchen Farms in May 2000 revealed that Michael Baumchen had been storing construction and demolition waste at the site, and subsequently burning and burying some of this waste, all without a certificate of approval (C of A) from the MOE. An follow-up investigation by the Ministry found that Michael Baumchen and Baumchen Farms had waste wood delivered to the site between February 15, 2000 and September 1, 2000, again without a C of A. The Ministry issued the defendants a director's order requiring them to cease accepting, burning, or burying waste, and to remove all waste, waste residue and recyclables from the property by way of approved transport destined for approved disposal. Baumchen and the company failed to comply with several conditions of the Order. Baumchen Farms and Michael Baumchen were fined $3,000 and $1,500 respectively for operating a waste management site without a C of A, contrary to section 41 of the Act. Each was also fined $10,000 and $2,500 respectively for five counts of failing to comply with a director's order, in violation of section 182(2) of the Act. Michael Baumchen and John Baumchen Jr pleaded guilty to an additional violation of section 41; Michael was fined $3,000 and John received a suspended sentence. The Whitby court also issued all defendants an order under section 190 of the Act, requiring an approved cleanup of the site.
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