September 19, 2005

Imperial Oil fined $135K for exceeding loading limits

SARNIA, ONT-Imperial Oil Limited has been fined $135,000 and levied a victim fine surcharge after pleading guilty to three violations of the Organic Chemical Sector Regulation 63/95 under Ontario's Environmental Protection Act (EP Act). The charges related to reporting of exceedances of regulatory limits at Imperial's petroleum refinery on the St Clair River in Sarnia. Regulation 63/95 sets a daily loading limit for the facility of 117 kilograms per day and a monthly average loading limit of 40 kg, and requires reporting of any exceedances. On February 25 and March 4, 2004, Imperial Oil failed to ensure that the daily process effluent plant loading calculated for dissolved organic carbon did not exceed the daily plant loading limit specified in the regulation. Once discovered, the company failed to orally report these findings to the Ministry of Environment director as soon as reasonably possible. Charges were laid following further investigation by the MOE, which confirmed that the exceedances caused no adverse effect on the St Clair River. Imperial pleaded guilty to two charges under section 16(1) of the regulation of failing to comply with the legislated requirements and one charge under section 40(1) of failing to report test results to the MOE. A $45,000 fine was imposed for each count.

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