The Corporation of the Municipality of Huron East has been fined a total of $60,000 and Pannabecker Holdings Inc. a total of $7,500 — plus victim fine surcharges — after pleading guilty to a total of three counts under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).
The Mid-Huron Landfill Site Board is a non-legal entity, created in January 2001, by agreement of six neighbouring municipalities in western Ontario, namely the Corporations of the Town of Goderich; the Township of Huron-Kinloss; the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh; the Municipality of Central Huron (formerly the Township of Goderich); the Municipality of Bluewater; and the Municipality of Huron East. The Board is authorized, through a provisional certificate of approval issued by the Ministry of Environment to the former Township of Goderich, to operate the Mid-Huron Landfill waste disposal site in the Township of Central Huron.
The landfill operation generates leachate that is subsequently collected, removed and transported to a transfer facility in the Town of Goderich. The Board is officially registered as both the generator and receiver of waste. In its capacity as receiver, the Board is responsible for receiving and disposing of waste leachate at the transfer facility. A ministry-issued certificate of approval (sewage) authorizes the Board to undertake its receiving activities.
Ontario Regulation 347 under the EPA stipulates that leachate — a Class 149L liquid industrial waste — be registered and characterized on a manifest first by the generator, then by the carrier, and finally by the receiver in order to track the waste from its generation point to disposal.
The court heard that, in January 2001, the Board entered into an agreement with Pannabecker Holdings Inc. to haul leachate from the Mid-Huron Landfill to the Goderich Transfer Facility. Pannabecker Holdings Inc. was not authorized for this activity at the time, as it did not hold a certificate of approval to haul leachate; however, the company purported to do so via an agreement signed with a second company that did hold a provisional certificate of approval to handle and transport non-hazardous liquid industrial waste.
A June 2002 ministry inspection found that, between January 2001 and June 2002, neither the generator, nor the carrier, nor the receiver completed the waste manifests for each load, as required under Regulation 347.
By permitting leachate waste to leave the generation site without completing waste manifests and by failing to obtain copies of waste manifests from the carrier of each load received at the transfer facility, the Board violated Sections 19(1) and 23(5), respectively, of Regulation 347. In permitting leachate waste to pass from its control without completing waste manifests, Pannabecker Holdings Inc. acted contrary to Section 22(1) of Regulation 347. The Municipality of Huron East pleaded guilty to the two charges, on behalf of the Board, and was fined $30,000 for each of these violations for a total fine of $60,000. Pannabecker Holdings Inc. also pleaded guilty and was fined $7,500 for its single breach.
Justice of the Peace Avis M. Rodney accepted the guilty pleas and fined the defendants on November 30, 2004 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Goderich.
For more information, contact Mark Rabbior, Communications Branch, 416-314-6666 or visit www.ene.gov.on.ca