May 14, 2007

Tree service company fined $15K after pleading guilty to spill charges

FORT ERIE, ONT-Allen Tree Service was fined $15,000 after pleading guilty to a charge related to allowing transformer oil to spill onto public roads, causing hazardous driving conditions. In July 2005 the Fort Erie tree removal company disposed of some scrap metal and a metal drum with transformer oil for a client. Oil from the drum spilled onto roadways while being transported by the company. Allen Tree Service took no action to stop the spill or clean it up, and did not notify the Ministry of Environment (MOE) and other proper authorities of the spill. Four charges were laid against both the company and one of its employees following an investigation by the MOE's investigations and enforcement branch four charges were laid jointly against the company and an employee. Allen Tree Service Limited pleaded guilty to one charge under section 14(1) of the Environmental Protection Act for discharging a contaminant, namely transformer oil, which caused an adverse effect. Since the incident, the town of Fort Erie has been reimbursed for the costs associated with the cleanup.

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