Environmental consulting firm, president fined $84K for giving MOE false information
BELLEVILLE, ONT-Quinte-Eco Consultants and its president, Ron Carter, were fined $84,000 and levied a victim fine surcharge after being convicted of three charges of providing false information to the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE). Carter has also been barred from practising as an environmental consultant for a period of two years. In the fall of 2005, Carter and Quinte-Eco, his Prince Edward County environmental consulting business, were hired to conduct sampling and provide environmental consulting services for a site decommissioning. On three separate occasions, Carter told the MOE that all samples taken by the company at the site had come back as non-detect for PCB. However, a provincial officer from the ministry visited the lab to which the company had submitted its samples for analysis and determined that three of the 19 sample results submitted by the company had, in fact, tested positive for PCB. Carter did not provide details of these three sample results to the ministry and, on several occasions, had told provincial officers that all sample results had come back as non-detect for PCB. An investigation by the MOE's investigations and enforcement branch led to charges against Carter and Quinte-Eco Consultants. Following a trial, both parties were found guilty of violating section 184(2) of the provincial Environmental Protection Act by giving or submitting false or misleading information to a provincial officer. The company was fined a total of $70,000, while Carter was fined $14,000. A probation order imposed on Carter also prohibits from providing environmental consulting or advice for two years, the maximum suspension permitted under the Provincial Offences Act.