Ontario releases landfilling site violations now subject to fine

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Truck working in landfill with birds in the sky hroephoto
The ministry noted that it may consider penalty reductions of up to 35% for landfill operators if certain preventative and mitigative measures occur. Photo Credit: hroephoto, stock.adobe.com

Following Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act amendment in late 2023 to fine landfills when non-compliance concerns arise, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks has now identified some violations that would be subject to penalty.

The new penalties will range from $1,000 per day for less serious violations to $100,000 per day for the most serious violations, and apply to both open and closed landfill sites with an approved capacity of 40,000 m³ or more.

The Environmental Registry of Ontario bulletin posted on April 8 from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks listed four types of violations specific to landfilling sites: 

  • Contravention of section 27, 40 or 41 of the Environmental Protection Act – the operation or alteration of a landfill, or the use of equipment or facilities not authorized by the landfill’s environmental compliance approval.
  • Unlawful discharge of a pollutant to the natural environment, including odour, which may cause an adverse effect.
  • Failure to report a spill to the ministry, or failure to clean up following a spill, as required under the Environmental Protection Act.
  • Operational requirements – the contravention of an environmental compliance approval or order that applies to a landfilling site.

These new contraventions for which environmental penalties can be issued are found in Table 3 of O. Reg 222/07: Environmental Penalties.

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The ministry noted that it may consider penalty reductions of up to 35% for landfill operators if certain preventative and mitigative measures such as risk analysis, preventative maintenance, and training, have been met, or if the landfilling site has an Environmental Management System in place.

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