The Ontario government is clamping down on landfill owners who break environmental laws.
Enforcement officials will be given the authority to immediately issue stiffer fines rather than wait years to take violators to court, which can be a costly endeavour.
The penalties will range from $1,000 per day for less serious violations to $100,000 per day for the most serious violations. The collected funds will be deposited into the Ontario Community Environment Fund for activities like shoreline cleanups and tree planting.
These local projects are in addition to other actions companies may have been ordered to do to repair harm caused by a violation of environmental laws, such as taking steps to prevent discharges of contaminants, including odour.
The new regulation amends Ontario Regulation 222/07 under the Environmental Protection Act to expand the application of environmental penalties to landfills.
“Our government takes environmental violations very seriously, and we are committed to holding polluters accountable,” said Andrea Khanjin, minister of the environment, conservation and parks in a statement. “By expanding environmental penalties to landfill facilities, this regulation gives us the ability to take stronger actions to protect Ontarians through swift financial consequences for breaking the law.”
“This is welcome news for people in my community who have had to endure an intolerable odour from a nearby landfill,” said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook. “This move will help ensure all landfills are in compliance with laws that help protect and preserve our air, land and water.”