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Domtar fined $50K for Environmental Protection Act violation


April 14, 2018
By P&PC Staff

Apr. 14, 2018 – The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change says Domtar has been fined $50,000 for an Environmental Protection Act (EPA) violation relating to a spill that happened in 2016 in Espanola, Ont.

The Ontario government ministry responsible for protecting and improving the quality of the province’s environment describes the offence as “failing to notify the ministry of a spill that caused or was likely to cause an adverse effect.”

According to the ministry, on or about August 29, 2016, there was a discharge of sodium sulphate salt – often referred to as salt cake – into the community of Espanola from the Domtar pulp and paper mill. The discharge was as a result of a salt cake buildup and a resulting failure of a precipitator on a recovery boiler, says the ministry.

“Although salt cake is a white, odourless powder and is regarded as non-toxic, several complaints were received from area residents who indicated that the substance coated their vehicles, yards, and or outdoor furniture,” explains the ministry, saying Domtar didn’t notify the ministry of the discharge until August 30, 2016.

Domtar was convicted of one violation under the EPA and was fined $50,000 as well as a victim fine surcharge of $12,500. The company has 60 days to pay the fine.