October 4, 2004

Brantford pleads guilty to charges stemming from incidents during solids removal facility project

BRANTFORD, ONT-The Corporation of the City of Brantford pleaded guilty to charges stemming from two incidents occurring in the summer of 2002 during the construction of a new $5.5-million solids removal facility for the city's water treatment plant. The city was fined a total of $7,500, plus victim fine surcharges. During construction of the facility, two of the water treatment plant's three lagoons were taken out of service while a larger lagoon was built to receive solids. On June 12, 2002 workers accidentally took extra sludge from the operational lagoon to a site not designated as a waste disposal site. Realizing its mistake, the city undertook a cleanup at its own expense. On July 16, 2002, the operational lagoon overflowed, discharging a plume of solids into the Grand River and causing aesthetic pollution. City staff halted the release immediately and notified the Ministry of Environment (MOE). The city was charged under section 40 of the Environmental Protection Act with depositing waste on land that is not waste disposal site; a second charge of discharging a material that may impair water quality was laid under section 30(1) of the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA). A fine of $2,500 was imposed for the first charge and $5,000 for the second; the city was given 30 days to pay the fines.
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