July 23, 2007

Quebec company fined $25K for diesel fuel spill, reimburses Ontario for cleanup

BELLEVILLE, ONT-Failure to clean up a spill of diesel fuel that occurred following a tractor trailer collision with a passenger vehicle has cost a Quebec company a fine of $25,000, plus a victim fine surcharge. The collision between the tractor trailer, leased by 9031-3859 Quebec, of Repentigny, and the passenger vehicle occurred March 23, 2005 on Highway 401 westbound, at Quinte West. As a result, the tractor trailer's fuel tank was punctured, spilling approximately 100 litres of diesel fuel on to the gravel shoulder and prompting concern that the diesel fuel could contaminate a nearby ditch if it rained before the cleanup. Ministry of Environment (MOE) officials notified the company three times within the week following the collision concerning its obligation to clean up the spill site and remove the contaminated gravel. When the company did not respond by March 30, the Ministry of Transportation directed a private company to clean up the site and remove the contaminated soil. After an investigation by the MOE's investigations and enforcement branch, 9031-3859 Quebec was charged with, and pleaded guilty, to failing to prevent, eliminate and ameliorate the adverse effect caused by the diesel fuel, in violation of section 93 (1) of the Environmental Protection Act. The company also reimbursed the provincial government nearly $13,000 to cover the costs of emergency services and the cleanup by the private contractor.

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