May 30, 2005

Auto parts firm fined $20K on air pollution charges

TORONTO, ONT-Fincore Industries, a Toronto automotive parts finishing business, was fined a total of $20,000, plus victim fine surcharge, after pleading guilty to two charges under the Environmental Protection Act (EP Act), i.e. operating equipment without a certificate of approval (C of A) and discharging air contaminants. The Ministry of Environment (MOE) laid the first charge after an investigation prompted by complaints from neighbours regarding the operation of the plant. The MOE found that Fincore was operating a paint production line without an updated C of A, and issued a provincial officer's order requiring the company to apply for a new C of A (air) in order to operate this equipment. The company did so. In March 2004, however, the Ministry received more complaints from neighbours about soot-like substances coming from the plant. Further investigation determined that the air intake for a burner used by the company was plugged with dirt, creating a soot-like material which subsequently discharged into the natural environment and led to the second charge against Fincore. The firm was fined $5,000 for operating equipment without a C of A, contrary to section 9(7) of the EP Act, and $15,000 for discharging a contaminant, namely soot, into the natural environment, contrary to section 14(1) of the Act.

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