MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND FORESTRY
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry would like to remind companies that allowing sediment to enter waterways is illegal and can damage bodies of water.
A Toronto-based corporation has been fined $275,000 for releasing sediment into two creeks near Cochrane between April and December 2015. Justice Michel R. Labelle of the Ontario Court of Justice in Cochrane heard that Northland Power Inc. owns four solar farms in the area north of Cochrane.
In 2015, during the construction of these solar farms, some rainfall events overwhelmed the erosion and sediment control systems. Breaches in these control systems allowed sediment-laden water to flow into two creeks.
Justice Labelle found Northland Power Inc. guilty of two offences under the Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA). He imposed a fine of $200,000 for impacts to Munroe Creek in Glackmeyer township and $75,000 for impacts to Smith Creek in Calder township.
Justice Labelle noted that the company had spent close to $4 million to control the silt discharges and clearly took their environmental obligations seriously. He found that specific deterrence was not necessary for Northland in light of its conduct, but that these fines were necessary to demonstrate to others that any harm to the environment is unacceptable.
A separate company, which was the contractor on the project, previously pled guilty to an offence under the LRIA for causing impacts to Munroe Creek. That company was fined $175,000.
Ministry conservation officers work tirelessly to help make sure we can all enjoy Ontario's natural resources in a safe and respectful manner. To report a natural resource violation, call the ministry TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free, or contact your local ministry office.
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