May 23, 2005

Vibration release leads to fine for blasting firm operator

SAULT STE MARIE, ONT-Guy Gaston Chenard, operator of a blasting contracting firm in Blind River, was fined $8,000, plus victim fine surcharge, after an appeal court judge overturned Chenard's initial aquittal on a charge of discharging a contaminant--in this case, vibration--into the natural environment, causing or likely to cause an adverse effect. The evidence at trial established that Chenard's company was contracted to blast and excavate a service trench in Thessalon. In September 2001, vibration from the blasting caused a reverberation which lifted the floor of a neighbouring residence, resulting in structural and plumbing damage. After considering the trial court's reasons for judgment and all of the evidence at trial, the judge on appeal overturned the acquittal and convicted Chenard of violating Section 14(1) of the Environmental Protection Act.

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