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Trucking firm ordered to pay $175K after Hwy. 11 diesel spill

The environment ministry laid charges for failure to notify the ministry and to clean up a fuel spill into Lake Helen
Court gavel-Pexels
(Pexels photo)

NIPIGON — A trucking company and its director must pay $175,000 in fines and victim fine surcharges in connection with a diesel fuel spill near Lake Helen three years ago.

A transport truck operated by Alberta-based V Trans Ltd. was involved in a collision on Highway 11 in April 2021, resulting in a diesel spill that contaminated the soil and vegetation in a ditch, and travelled through a culvert into nearby Lake Helen.

The lake is a source of drinking water for the Lake Helen First Nation, and also supports a cold water fishery.

According to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, the ministry discovered the spill the following month and contacted V Trans to advise it of its duty to report and clean up the spill, but the company failed to do so.

In July 2021, the ministry ordered the company and director Husanpreet Singh requiring that cleanup and remediation be completed, but the order was not complied with by deadline.

Finally, in November 2022 the ministry retained a third party to undertake remediation at a cost of $84,000.

In Nipigon court in January of this year, V Trans and Singh were convicted under the Environmental Protection Act for:

  • failing to notify the ministry of a spill;
  • failing to comply with a ministry order by failing to remove all contamination from a site; and
  • failing to provide the ministry with a report prepared by a qualified professional.

The company was fined $125,000 plus a $31,250 victim fine surcharge.

Singh was fined $15,000 plus a $3,750 victim fine surcharge.

— SNNewswatch