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Spill

Kawartha oil spill cost recovery litigation drags on

City of Kawartha Lakes taxpayers continue to pay heavily for the Ministry of the Environment’s 2009 order, which required the City to cleanup an oil spill that it did not cause. While everyone agreed that the City was an innocent victim of the spill, the Ministry saddled the City with $471,691 in cleanup costs, arguing that [...]

Another court refuses to impose minimum environmental fines

I’m glad to see the courts making more use of s. 59(2) to offset the unreasonable harshness that the minimum environmental fine regime can create.

Shell Canada charged for Chemical Valley spill

In January of 2013, Shell Canada allegedly spilled "flare liquids", similar to gasoline, from its refinery in Sarnia. People in a nearby First Nation (often affected by Chemical Valley spills) experienced odours, irritation and illness. After waiting until the end of the two year limitation period, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has charged Shell with [...]

Appeal Court Rejects Pollution Exclusion in Oil Overflow

In O’Byrne et al. v. Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company (Lindsay), 2014 ONCA 543, the Ontario Court of Appeal has forced an insurer to pay for a fuel oil cleanup after a spill, despite a pollution exclusion clause. The case involved an “all risks” insurance policy. A tenant inserted a piece of cardboard to bypass a furnace thermostat so [...]

Waterkeepers want notice of sewage bypasses

Congratulations to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper for their innovative application to the Ontario Environmental Commissioner, to force Toronto to give public notice when it bypasses sewage into Lake Ontario due to wet weather- about three times a month. The Environmental Bill of Rights allows anyone to filed a request for review of an existing practice or policy. [...]

London fined $20,000 for wastewater plant spill

The City of London was fined $20,000, plus the 25% victim fine surcharge, for breaching its Ministry of the Environment approval for a wastewater treatment plant, contrary to the Ontario Water Resources Act. The City of London owns and operates the Greenway Pollution Control Centre. The facility treats municipal wastewater prior to discharging into the [...]