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Company pays hefty fine for illegal dumping

Friday, December 20, 2013   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

ENVIRONMENT CANADA

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Domtar Inc. was sentenced on December 17, 2013, in Ontario Provincial Court for violating the Fisheries Act and was ordered to pay $75,000, of which $67,500 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund.

Domtar Inc. pleaded guilty to one count pursuant to subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act for offences occurring at its mill in Espanola, Ontario, between December 14 and 16 of 2010.

Domtar Inc. failed to adhere to the regulatory limits for biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and thereby deposited effluent that was deleterious to fish, contrary to the Fisheries Act.

Discharge of BOD matter into water leads to the consumption of oxygen in the receiving water which may render the water uninhabitable to fish and other aquatic organisms.

Environment Canada's enforcement personnel conduct inspections and investigations under a number of acts and regulations including the Fisheries Act.

They help ensure that companies, government entities and the general public comply with legislation and regulations that protect Canada's environment.

The Environmental Damages Fund, which is administered by Environment Canada, was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit our environment.

Environment Canada has created a subscription service to help the Canadians stay current with what the Government of Canada is doing to protect our natural environment.

Subscribing to Environment Canada's Enforcement Notifications is easy, and free.

Sign up today.

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Comments
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Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. Keep discussions civil and on topic. Refrain from obscenity and don't post anything that your grandmother would be ashamed to read. Those who do not abide by these guidelines will have their membership revoked without notice. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
RonBes 12/20/2013 4:07:35 PM Report

Good. The financial sting should be higher though. It has to be high enough that it cannot be considered just a cost of doing business.
B Boy 12/20/2013 4:52:38 PM Report

Often fines are based on formulae that are related to either workforce, profit, revenue or a function of all three. That is when there's no set fine under that piece of legislation.
Joe Kidd 12/20/2013 5:00:52 PM Report

It would be great if they cleaned up the mess at huron central. all that crap causes flooding when we get a good amount of rainfall.
ThinkAgain 12/20/2013 5:14:38 PM Report

Its just cheaper to pay a fine and continue to illegally dump (they only get caught once a year) they must save millions - smart company.
asp 12/20/2013 8:17:46 PM Report

Domtar couldn't care, they have the money to pay and tjat amount is peanuts to them. Readers we all have been posting messages re:clean up of the water front area for such a long time and nothing has been done about it yet. But it is really nice too see people care.
OrganicGuy 12/21/2013 8:38:14 AM Report

Hefty? Really!?!?!
SarahMac 12/21/2013 8:58:18 AM Report

It sounds like they didn't dump anything, but rather the water they were using for whatever process had too much oxygen removed from it.
SarahMac 12/21/2013 9:01:05 AM Report

You could be charged with the same offence if you took a bucket of water from the river, boiled it and let it cool off, and then dump it back in the river.
Beej 12/21/2013 10:14:01 AM Report

Not!!
Blind Druid 12/21/2013 10:35:04 AM Report

Sarah - BOD is mainly organic matter, most of which originates from removal of natural chemicals from wood during the pulp/paper making process. If BOD is discharged untreated to a watercourse, it breaks down chemically and in doing so, consumes the dissolved oxygen in the water, upon which life depends.
Every mill today uses microbes and bubbling aeration to "eat" the BOD before it is discharged into the environment. This is done in huge, complex treatment plants that occasionally break down. That is when the untreated effluent is dumped to the river until repairs can be made. This is never intentional, but unavoidable when it happens.
Hope this helps your understanding, and dispels some of the uninformed alarmist "green screaming" which seems to be prevalent these days.
SarahMac 12/21/2013 12:32:34 PM Report

Umm no, do some research. BOD is the level of oxygen available, whether it was removed by boiling on by aerobic bacteria eating wood/other debris.

They had too much fiber in the discharge that removed too much oxygen.

From wikipedia:
Biochemical oxygen demand or B.O.D is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by aerobic biological organisms in a body of water to break down organic material present in a given water sample at certain temperature over a specific time period.
Blind Druid 12/21/2013 2:05:12 PM Report

Sarah - I attempted to explain it using layman's terms, apparently unsuccessfully.
Your comment "BOD is the level of oxygen available"
No -- D.O. or Dissolved Oxygen is the level of oxygen available.
"They had too much fiber in the discharge that removed too much oxygen."
No -- the cellulose fiber is inert, and is removed in the clarifier before the aerobic treatment stage. BOD is caused by chemical breakdown of the dissolved organic components of the effluent. It's actually a measure of dissolved organics - wood chemicals mainly.
The fairly complex lab test is called "BOD 5" -- Simple version, a sample of untreated effluent is mixed with richly oxygenated water and seeded with microbes. The microbes consume the organics in the effluent using up some of the oxygen during a five day incubation period at a controlled temperature. The D.O. is measured before and after, and the decrease in dissolved oxygen content over the 5 day period is the "BOD 5" in parts per million.
If you boil a pail of river water, cool it and dump it back in, you will be adding deoxygenated water to the river, you will not be adding BOD. So you would not be charged with the same offence.
p.s. I didn't get any of the above from Wikipedia.
Merry Christmas.
Comments
12
Please sign in to post a response
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. Keep discussions civil and on topic. Refrain from obscenity and don't post anything that your grandmother would be ashamed to read. Those who do not abide by these guidelines will have their membership revoked without notice. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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