Complying with environmental regulations is becoming increasingly complex as there are more regulations (see our February 8, 2023, blog regarding increased regulatory activity) and more regulatory enforcement. Below we highlight some recent environmental enforcement activity.
Release of Gasoline Ends with a $1 Million Fine
Not exactly what you might consider a typical environmental enforcement “target,” but Enterprise Rent-A-Car (Enterprise) handles fuel, which poses a risk to the environment when released.
On April 4, 2023, Enterprise was ordered by the Court of Quebec to pay $1 million after pleading guilty to one count of violating the Fisheries Act.
Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) reported that on January 14, 2021, ECCC’s Enforcement Branch launched an investigation after receiving reports of a fuel spill at the company’s service centre located in Dorval, Quebec.
The report from ECCC states that “…during a delivery of over 20,000 litres of regular gasoline, the fuel was transferred into a 5,000-litre gasoline trap…” This resulted in 15,000 litres of gasoline being discharged into the site’s storm sewer and, eventually, into Bouchard Creek.
ECCC stated that the incident was caused by “a lack of proper filling-pipe identification, insufficient supervision during delivery, and the absence of leak-detection procedures.”
Enterprise’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.
Concrete Leachate Release Results in $1 Million Fine
Poor handling of materials (solid/liquid/other waste) at construction job sites have the potential for an environmental impact. In one case, the impact resulted in dead fish in a nearby creek.
ECCC environmental enforcement officers were notified of the dead fish in Larson Creek in West Vancouver. The ECCC report states that the enforcement officers found approximately 85 dead Cutthroat Trout in the creek.
Upon investigation, ECCC determined that Keller Foundations’ construction activities led to a discharge of concrete leachate to the groundwater and, eventually, into Larson Creek. The order came on March 17, 2023; the inspection of the incident occurred on April 30, 2018.
As a result of the conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.
The environmental regulatory landscape is getting more complex (and expensive when there is a violation). While we cannot predict the future, this trend toward more regulation and more expensive violations will likely continue.
If you need help with an environmental matter, contact Christopher Paré, P.Geo. at 519-979-7300, Ext 114. Chris has been with Dragun for more than 30 years and has extensive experience with a wide-range of environmental issues.
This blog was drafted by Alan Hahn. Alan has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and completed a graduate program in Environmental Management. He has worked in environmental management for 45 years. He has written hundreds of blogs and articles. His published work includes HazMat Magazine, BizX Magazine, Michigan Lawyers Weekly, GreenStone Partners, Manure Manager Magazine, and Progressive Dairy.
This blog was reviewed by Christopher Paré, P.Geo. Chris is a senior geoscientist and manager of Dragun’s Windsor, Ontario, office. Chris has more than 30 years of experience on projects ranging from environmental site assessments (Phase One/Two ESA), excess soils, remedial investigations, soil and groundwater remediation, Permits to Take Water, Records of Site Conditions, vapour intrusion, and site decommissioning. Chris is a frequent speaker, author, and expert witness. See Chris’ bio.
Follow Dragun Corporation on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Sign up for our monthly environmental newsletters.
Principled Foundation | Thoughtful Advice | Smart Solutions
Celebrating our 35th Year 1988-2023