July 25, 2005

Ivanhoe Cambridge levied $80K for improper storage of PCB waste

CALGARY, ALTA-Ivanhoe Cambridge was fined $80,500 after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to store hazardous waste properly. The charge was laid in connection with a release of PCB oil from a storage area on the roof of Southcentre Mall in Calgary into the city's storm sewer in 2001. Ivanhoe Cambridge began storing PCB oil and associated waste on the roof of the mall in July 2001. The waste, collected from a transformer failure, was stored in steel drums which were placed on a cement pad surrounded by a six-inch cement wall. A sump pump was also put inside the storage area to remove rainwater. On August 2, 2001, a transformer failure released PCB oil onto the concrete pad. The sump pump transferred the liquid out of the contained area into Calgary's storm sewer. The Calgary Fire Department was able to flush the PCB oil out of the storm sewer system. It was subsequently determined that the secondary containment system used by Ivanhoe Cambridge to store the PCB waste did not meet regulatory requirements for hazardous waste storage, which stipulate that such systems must be fully enclosed. The penalty levied against the company included a $70,000 fine plus a 15% victim fine surcharge of $10,500.This is the second charge related to this case. In 2004, Magna IV Engineering Calgary, a company contracted by Ivanhoe Cambridge to maintain its high voltage equipment, pleaded guilty to failing to label hazardous waste. In January 2005, Magna IV was fined $20,125 ($17,500 plus a 15% victim fine surcharge of $2,625).

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