March 22, 2004

Odorous wastes spread at composting site, firm fined $26K

Terratec Environmental has been fined a total of $26,000 and levied a 25% victim fine surcharge after pleading guilty to two charges in connection with spreading of odorous wastes at its composting site.

The southern Ontario-based firm is contracted to operate the Power Grow Composting facility in Niagara Falls. Its certificate of approval (C of A) from the Ministry of Environment (MOE), allows Terratec to accept various types of non-hazardous waste, including food waste and other biosolids. The C of A also requires that any material on its site which might be causing continuing odour problems be disposed of at an approved disposal site.

The court was told that in 2002, Terratec began receiving material which was not completely digested and had an associated odour. That spring, the MOE began receiving complaints from local residents about odours from the Power Grow facility. Although Terratec contacted area residents, it did not remove the offensive odour-causing material from its site.

Responding to complaints about odours in late summer 2002, MOE staff investigated a farm field in Wellandport. The odours at the farm location were found to be the result of Terratec's spreading the odorous material on the farm land. Area residents were unable to use and enjoy their properties for approximately six weeks due to the firm's waste-spreading activities.

Terratec was charged with failing to remove the odour-causing material from the site, in violation of section 4(2) of its C of A under the Environmental Protection Act, and was fined $11,000. The company was also charged with violating section 14(1) of the Act by spreading an odourous material which caused adverse effects to area residents, and was fined $15,000. Terratec was given 90 days to pay the fine.

Terratec Environmental works in partnership with municipalities and farmers to manage long-term programs for utilization of biosolids on agricultural lands. The company has 25 years of experience in biosolids management in Ontario.

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