June 7, 2004

County fined $13K for exceeding provincial order limits

SIMCOE, ONT-Norfolk County recently pleaded guilty to three charges of non-compliance with the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA) and was fined $13,000. In February 2002, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) issued the county a provincial officer order specifying limits for monthly concentrations of biological oxygen demand (BOD), suspended solids and total phosphorus in the effluent discharged from the Waterford sewage lagoon. The lagoon is owned by Norfolk County and operated through a contractual agreement by USF Canada. The sewage treatment facility discharges treated water directly into Nanticoke Creek. The limits were set to prevent any adverse environmental impacts on the creek. The court was told that in June 2002, average monthly concentrations of BOD exceeded their set limit. Monitoring reports submitted to the MOE also showed that average monthly levels of suspended solids exceeded their maximum limit in August 2002 and in November 2002. The county was charged with three counts of violating Section 107(2) of the OWRA failing to ensure that the monthly average concentration for BOD and suspended solids in the effluent discharged from the lagoon did not exceed their respective prescribed levels. Norfolk County was given 30 days to pay the $13,000 fine. No evidence of adverse impact on the environment or local residents was reported to MOE as a result of these concentrations.
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