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First jail sentence under the Environmental Protection Act

Canada's first jail sentence for charges under the Environmental Protection Act was handed down to a former employe...


Canada’s first jail sentence for charges under the Environmental Protection Act was handed down to a former employee of Battery Broker Environmental Services Inc. currently incarcerated for a drunk driving conviction.

Two charges under the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste Regulations were laid against Jeffrey Dressler after a year-long investigation by Environment Canada. He received a 30-day sentence on each count, to be served concurrently.

In 2003 and 2004, Mr. Dressler was employed as a warehouse shipper supervisor by Battery Broker Environmental Services Inc. in Etobicoke, Ontario. On two occasions he oversaw the export of more than 37,800 kilograms of waste batteries for recycling in the United States. There were no permits in place authorizing the exports. Mr. Dressler also failed to ensure that copies of the relevant waste manifests were forwarded to Environment Canada, as required.

Bradley May, head of the investigations section of Environment Canada’s Ontario Division, said creative sentencing such as fines and community service are usually sought for environmental charges. However, in this case, "Mr. Dressler did not have the wherewithal to do either," Mr. May said.

In May 2005, on an unrelated charge, Mr. Dressler pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and given a lifetime driving prohibition. In 1999, Mr. Dressler was convicted of the same offence and was sentenced to four years in prison. (He was released in 2001.)

In the Environment Canada case, the judge concluded that creative sentencing was not possible and ordered the 30-day prison sentence.

With files from HazMat Management Magazine.


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