November 21, 2005

Tank rental firm to pay $50K for failing to report oil spill

GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALTA-Norm's Tank Rentals has been ordered to pay $50,000 after pleading guilty to a charge under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act of failing to report a spill. Following an incident in October 2003, an Alberta Environment investigation revealed that a driver for the Grande Prairie company had been moving a tank filled with oil. The tank was dropped during loading, spilling the product onto the ground. The investigation indicated that the manager at the time brought in vacuum trucks and a front-end loader to contain the spill, but decided not to report the incident to Alberta Environment. The vacuum trucks picked up some of the oil and a bobcat removed some contaminated soil. The tank rental company owner and new manager are co-operating with Alberta Environment, and have reclaimed the area. The penalty levied against the company includes a $10,000 fine, with the remaining $40,000 to be used to pay for a multi-media campaign in northern Alberta to explain the importance of reporting spills. This is in accordance with creative sentencing provisions under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, which typically direct the offender to remedy or prevent harm to the environment or perform a community service. Creative sentencing orders have been an option in Alberta since 1993.

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