January 3, 2005

Royal Polymers charged in connection with St Clair R spill

SARNIA, ONT-Royal Polymers has been charged with two violations of Ontario's Environmental Protection Act and two violations of the Ontario Water Resources Act in connection with an August, 2003 spill of vinyl chloride monomer. A Ministry of Environment (MOE) investigation revealed that on August 14, 2003, the power blackout that affected much of the province shut down equipment at the company's polyvinyl chloride facility Sarnia's Chemical Valley. This ultimately contributed to a discharge of water containing vinyl chloride monomer into the drainage system, which leads to the St. Clair River. The spill was not reported to the MOE by Royal Polymers until August 19, 2003. The company was charged under section 186(1) of the Environmental Protection Act with causing or permitting the discharge of a contaminant which caused or was likely to cause an adverse effect, and with failing to notify the ministry promptly concerning the discharge. Each of the two charges under the Ontario Water Resources Act was a separate violation of Royal Polymers' certificate of approval for its sewage works, contrary to section 107(3) of the Act. A court date has been set for January 14, 2005 in Sarnia.
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