Crompton Co./Cie. (now known as Chemtura Co./Cie) has pleaded guilty to violating Ontarios Environmental Protection Act and was fined $90,000, plus a victim fine surcharge, for discharging a contaminant that caused an adverse effect to the surrounding community.
Crompton Co./Cie is a company that produces and markets polymer products and specialty chemicals. The company operates a plant in Toronto that produces a chemical known as naphtha sulfonic acid.
The court heard that on November 10, 2004 an incident occurred at the plant resulting in about 600 gallons of naphtha sulfonic acid being released. When the acid spilled, a mist was created that left the site and passed over neighboring properties. Three people nearby experienced health symptoms including vomiting, swollen glands and breathing problems. In addition, a neighboring business was evacuated and Warden Avenue and nearby side roads were closed.
Following an investigation by the ministry’s Investigation and Enforcement Branch, Crompton Co./Cie was charged under section 14(1) of the Environmental Protection Act with discharging a contaminant, in this case naphtha sulfonic acid, into the natural environment that caused an adverse effect.
The Honourable Justice Robert Bigelow convicted the company on March 22, 2007 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto. The company was fined $90,000 and given 90 days to pay.
The court also heard that since being charged, the company has upgraded training for the loading of dangerous chemicals including acid.