According to an April 25th press release by the Ontario Government, “…two hog farming businesses and a Director pleaded guilty and were fined for discharging pig manure into the Thames River and Sweets Creek impairing the quality of water…the total fines for the offences were $120,000.” The release goes on to say they were also charged an additional $30,000 victim fine surcharge.
Apparently, the violation at the Van Boekel Hog Farm was not the first for this farm. In 2012, the owners were fined in excess of $350,000 for a similar issue.
While this most recent incident dates back several years (this 2014 ruling followed an appeal) there seems a general trend of increased environmental enforcement activity in Ontario. You may recall the recent $130,000 fine for fly-rock discharge and the Toronto Dry Cleaner that was fined $60,000 last fall.
With this said, it might be a good time to review your environmental permitting requirements, including Toxic Substance Reduction Plans (TSRP), Water Taking Permits, or any other process or discharge that requires an Environmental Activity & Sector Registry (EASR) or Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA).
If you need assistance with an environmental permit, or if you just have a question about whether or not you need a permit, contact Andrew Tymec, P. Eng (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 519-979-7300, ext 118.