By Richard Leitner, News Staff
A Burlington-based firm has been fined $150,000 and ordered to reimburse the City of Hamilton for $25,000 in cleanup costs after being found guilty of twice dumping waste cooking-oil sludge into a ditch in Elfrida.
The Hamilton Provincial Offences Court levied the penalties against Green Diesel Canada Ltd. today after convicting the company of two charges each under the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resources Act.
The Ministry of the Environment laid the charges following two separate incidents in 2009 that saw thousands of litres of the waste oil dumped in a ditch at the end of Swayze Road, located near the corner of Upper Centennial Parkway and Rymal Road.
The ditch flowed to Sinkhole Creek, a tributary of Twenty Mile Creek that runs into Lake Ontario.
It’s the second time Green Diesel has run afoul of the law. The company was fined $28,300 plus a 25 per cent victim discharge in December 2010 after being convicted of dumping waste oil in a field in the Township of West Lincoln in June of 2009.
An employee of the company was also fined $6,000 for his role in that case, while a company director, Julian Lothringen, received a suspended sentence and was issued a one-year probation order.
Ministry spokesperson Lindsay Davidson said the convictions show the province will enforce the rules on how such wastes must be disposed.
“Penalties like today’s convictions show there are tough consequences for those who do not follow these rules and we will continue to monitor the company to ensure it follows the rules,” he said when asked why the company is allowed to continue to operate.
“When we receive reports or tips of illegal dumping we take quick action to ensure that the environment is protected and the responsible party is found.”
According to the ministry, the first Hamilton incident occurred when it responded to reports of oil being dumped into the Swayze Road ditch on Sept. 6, 2009.
A city employee then noticed a tanker truck registered to Green Diesel at the same spot on Oct. 28, 2009 and found thousands of litres of waste oil in the ditch.
In both cases, the city cleaned up the spill. The company has been ordered to reimburse the city immediately but been given 12 months to pay the $150,000 fine, which includes a $30,000 victim surcharge.
No one from Green Diesel was immediately available to respond to a request for comment on the convictions.