November 1, 2004

MOE shuts down transfer station, issues cleanup order

The Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) last week suspended the Certificate of Approval (C of A) issued to 310 Waste for its waste transfer station in Vaughan, just north of Toronto. The facility is no longer allowed to accept waste materials.

At the same time, the MOE issued a Director's Order requiring the owners and operators of the site to remove and dispose of all excess waste at the site by December 13, 2004. The order has been issued to: 310 Waste, Rail Cycle, 2020700 Ontario Inc, 2020780 Ontario Limited, Edmond Hanna, Robert Sansone and Starnino Holdings.

The facility was licensed to accept non-hazardous solid waste, consisting mainly of construction debris. Waste materials in excess of permitted quantities had been accumulating at the site for some time, and on October 12, a fire ignited at the site.

By October 26, the Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) reported that while the fire had been contained, it was still smoldering and might take several days to extinguish completely. The FRS is still investigating the cause of the fire. In addition, the MOE Investigations and Enforcement Branch has launched its own investigation of the incident.

The site owners and operators are financially responsible for the cleanup. They are required to submit a detailed cleanup plan, evidence of financial capability to carry out the plan, and weekly reporting of cleanup efforts. If they fail to meet the order's terms and deadlines, the Ministry has the authority to step in to carry out the work and charge the cleanup costs to the site owners and operators. If they do comply with the order, they will have to reapply to the Ministry to have the suspended C of A reactivated.

The site owners are already in court facing charges laid by the MOE on May 12, 2004. As well, the MOE suspension follows earlier efforts by the city of Vaughan to have the waste transfer site cleaned up or closed down. In June 2004, the FRS issued a notice directing 310 Waste to clean up the site. This was followed by a zoning bylaw notice of infraction issued by the city's Enforcement Services in August. At the time of the fire, 310 Waste had not complied with the city notices.

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