September 5-12, 2005

Aircraft owner pays $20K penalty for paint stripper release

HALIFAX, NS-Atlantic Utility Maintenance was ordered to pay a penalty of $20,000 after pleading guilty to a violation of the federal Fisheries Act in connection with the deposit of paint stripper into a storm drain. In August 2004, the company improperly stripped paint off an airplane in a facility at the Halifax International Airport. The plane was parked near a storm drain emptying into Bennery Brook, and no containment procedures were used to prevent the highly toxic paint stripper from being washed into the storm drain. Environment Canada enforcement officers investigated Atlantic Utility Maintenance, which was the registered owner of the airplane, and charged it under the Fisheries Act, which prohibits any person from depositing or permitting a deposit of a deleterious substance into waters frequented by fish. The penalty included a court fine of $5,000 and a payment of $15,000 into the Environmental Damages Fund which directs monies from pollution fines and settlements into projects designed to repair the harm done by pollution.

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