March 6, 2006

Hamilton concrete firm, owner fined $58K for air emissions, water, sewage releases

Imperial Precast and Emilio Domenic Sciullo, owner of the concrete products manufacturing company were fined a total of $58,000 after pleading guilty to violations of Ontario's Environmental Protection Act (EP Act) and the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA). Between September 2002 and June 2004, inspections of the Hamilton company by Ministry of Environment (MOE) officers from the found that:

*significant quantities of cement dust were not properly contained within the site and were drifting onto neighbouring residential properties;

*process water contaminated with chemicals and concrete particulate was drained into a ditch running into Fifty Mile Creek;

*sewage was being discharged from an outdoor holding tank without a certificate of approval (C of A) from the ministry; and

*a storage silo that discharged cement dust was being used without a C of A.

The court was told that the facility had been the subject of complaints from nearby residents about dust emissions. Moreover, Fifty Mile Creek is a migratory and spawning habitat for Lake Ontario fish, and provides seasonal habitat and resting areas for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl.

A follow-up investigation by MOE's investigations and enforcement branch resulted in charges being laid.

The company and Sciullo each pleaded guilty to:

*one charge of causing or permitting the discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment that caused or was likely to cause an adverse effect, contrary to section 14(1) of the EP Act. The company was fined $25,000 and Sciullo was fined $4,000.

*two charges of causing or permitting the discharge of a material that may impair the quality of water, contrary to section 30(1) of the OWRA. The company was fined $10,000 and Sciullo was fined $1,000 on each charge.

The company also pleaded guilty to:

*one charge of discharging contaminated water without a C of A, contrary to section 53(5) of the OWRA, and was fined $3,000 for this violation.

*one charge of operating or using a structure from which a contaminant may be discharged without a C of A, contrary to section 9(7) of the EP Act and was fined $2,000 for this violation.

Additionally, Scuillo pleaded guilty to providing false or misleading information to a provincial officer with respect to on-site waste at the facility in May 2005, contrary to section 184(2) of the EP Act. He was fined $2,000.

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