A waste-management company has been fined $100,000, plus a victim fine surcharge, after pleading guilty to failing to comply with conditions set by Ontarios Ministry of the Environment.
The company, National Challenge Systems Inc., collects, transports, disposes and recycles non-hazardous and organic wastes through Organic Resource Management Inc. (ORMI). ORMI, a subsidiary of National Challenge Systems during the period of the offences, operates a waste-disposal site for non-hazardous and organic wastes at Lot 16, Concession 16, Ellice Township in Perth County.
The court was told the Ministry of the Environment approved ORMI to store and transfer specified organic wastes. The approval also required the company to submit financial assurance, as well as annual reports to the ministry.
The court heard that ministry inspections revealed that the company had not submitted financial assurance or annual reports as required. The court was told a ministry inspector contacted the company repeatedly to request annual reports and the required financial assurance. The company did not comply. The court was told that the ministry requires timely environmental reports because they help ensure the proper regulation of the waste management industry and help prevent environmental incidents. The court also heard that the ministry requires financial assurance to ensure adequate funds are available for environmental activities, including site remediation.
National Challenge, the parent company, was charged following an investigation by the ministry’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch.
National Challenge Systems Inc. pleaded guilty to failing to comply with Condition 24(b) of its approval for not having financial assurance in place. It also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with Condition 23 of its approval for not submitting an annual report for the 2005 fiscal year. NCS was fined $50,000 on each count and given six months to pay.
The court was told that after the investigation began, the company submitted the required financial assurance of almost $55,000 and submitted annual reports for 2004, 2005, and 2006. The court also heard that ministry inspectors concluded that the waste storage facility appeared to be well operated and well maintained.
Justice of the Peace A. J. Child heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice in Stratford, Ontario, on July 10, 2007.