February 28, 2005

Waste hauler fined $17K, barred from industry for two years after multiple violations of Ont EP Act

A Peterborough County, Ontario waste hauling firm and its manager were fined a total of $17,000, plus victim fine surcharges, in connection with violating numerous sections of Ontario's Environmental Protection Act. In addition, Edward James Ramsay, who was operations manager for Drain Problems at the time of the offences, was barred from the company and from the sewage disposal industry in general for two years.

Drain Problems is authorized, through two certificates of approval (C of As) from the Ministry of Environment (MOE), to operate a waste management service throughout the Peterborough region, hauling septage and liquid industrial waste. The C of As set out conditions guiding the company's collection, handling and transportation of commercial waste, including grease trap waste, as well as the collection, handling, transportation and disposal of hauled sewage.

Responding to public complaints, MOE staff investigated the company's operations between in March 2003. The investigation revealed a number of Environmental Protection Act violations, including:

using an unauthorized vehicle to transport grease trap waste from January through March 2003, contrary to section 186(3) of the act;

failing to notify the MOE, in two separate instances, of a change of business address, in violation of section 186(3) of the act;

disposing of hauled sewage at an unauthorized site in March 2003, contrary to section 186(3) of the act;

permitting, without the required MOE approval, a company truck to be used to collect and transport septage, contrary to section 41 of the act;

violating the company's C of A by transporting biosolids on four occasions during April and May 2003, a breach of Section 186(3) of the act; and

permitting the driver of a vehicle used to transport liquid industrial waste to operate the vehicle, in March 2003, without appropriate training, in contravention of section 16(1)9 of Ontario regulation 347 under the act.

Ten charges were laid against Drain Problems and Ramsay. By joint submission, Ramsay pleaded guilty to all of the above charges and the company pleaded guilty to the charges relating to unauthorized vehicle use and change of address notification. The parties were fined $14,500 and $2,500, respectively, and Ramsay was issued a probation order restricting him from having any involvement with the company's operations and the sewage disposal industry in general for two years.

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