City Of Ottawa (Richmond) Fined $30,000 For Failing To Prevent The Adverse Effects Of OdourOTTAWA – On June 7, 2011, the City of Ottawa pleaded guilty to one violation under the Environmental Protection Act for failing to take all steps to try and prevent, eliminate or ameliorate the adverse effects of an odour.
The Court heard that the city is the owner of and responsible for the operation and maintenance of its sanitary sewers and sewage treatment systems. Since 2005, sewage from Munster Hamlet has been transported by pipeline to a pumping station in Richmond. The sewage is mixed with the sewage from Richmond and then conveyed to a sewage treatment plant. Due to the amount of time it takes the sewage to travel from Munster Hamlet to Richmond it becomes septic which causes elevated odours caused mainly by hydrogen sulphide. As a result of the elevated odours, the Richmond pumping station is equipped with a two stage odour control system, consisting of a bio-scrubber and a bio-filter.
In January 2009, the city hired a contractor to initiate mechanical upgrades to the Richmond Pumping Station. The nature of the work required the laborers to work inside the pumping station and also required that adequate air quality be supplied for the protection of the laborers. The work commenced in January 2009 and the city received odour complaints that afternoon. A ministry officer conducted an inspection on and observed the door to the station was still chained open and found the levels of odours to be at a level that could cause an adverse effect. The work was stopped later that day and did not recommence until the city provided a zippered enclosure on the wet well doors and containment fans.
The city was charged following an investigation by the ministry’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch.
The City was fined $30,000 plus a victim fine surcharge and was given 30 days to pay the fine.
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