February 21, 2005

Dofasco pays $75K penalty in connection with wash oil spill

HAMILTON, ONT-Dofasco was fined $60,000 and levied a $15,000 victim fine surcharge in connection with a release of wash oil from one of its facility storm sewer outfalls into Hamilton Harbour. Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) staff investigating the incident determined that on January 21, 2000, a significant amount of wash oil spilled from a company byproduct mill storm sewer outfall eventually discharging into the Hamilton Harbour. The spill resulted in the deaths of more than 100 ducks, birds and waterfowl as well as numerous fish. Dofasco officials did not report the spill until approximately three and one-half hours after the oil was spotted in the boat slip. The court ruled that the company should have reported the spill immediately to the MOE instead of delaying the report while it investigated the cause of the spill. Dofasco was found guilty of one charge under section 30(2) of the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA) of failing to notify the minister forthwith of a discharge of wash oil into the Hamilton Harbour that may impair the quality of the water of any waters.

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