January 17, 2005

Improper paint spraying leads to $10K fine

BURLINGTON, ONT-El-Chem Corrosion last week pleaded guilty to a charge in connection with improper paint spraying and was fined $10,000, plus a victim fine surcharge. The Burlington company is in the business of applying paints to manufactured products. Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) staff inspected El-Chem's site on July 24, 2003 after receiving a complaint about paint spotting on cars parked at an adjacent property. The inspection led to a broader investigation, in which MOE staff found that the company failed to close its factory doors, so that paint spray drifted out of its building instead of being drawn through its exhaust system. It was also determined that the air filtration system, which is intended to capture any paint overspray, was not functioning properly at the time of the incident. The overspray resulted in damage to a number of cars on the adjacent property. A provincial officer order was issued on July 29, 2003, and El-Chem worked with the MOE to fulfill the requirements of the order. The company was charged with discharging paint overspray which damaged property, contrary to section 14(1) of the Environmental Protection Act, and was given one year to pay the fine.

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