Business fined $65,000 for Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Resources Water Act Violations

Sault Ste. Marie (8/24/2018) – Convicted – River Valley Park Inc., Harjeet Singh Dusanjh; Court Location – Sault Ste. Marie

Description of Offence – The convictions relate to failing to notify the ministry of sewage spills from a failing septic system, and for failing to comply with ministry orders to develop written procedures for operation of the domestic sewage system, failing to provide copies of a service agreement with an approved Waste Management System – Hauled Sewage, failing to provide compliance updates to the provincial officer, and failure to submit a completed environmental compliance approval application.

Date of Offence – The violations occurred between December 21, 2015 and February 17, 2017

Date of Conviction – August 24, 2018

Penalty Imposed – River Valley Park Inc. was found guilty of one violation under the Environmental Protection Act, was fined $60,000 plus a Victim Fine Surcharge of $15,000. On the same date River Valley Park Inc., was also found guilty of two violations under the Ontario Water Resources Act, was fined $5,000 plus a Victim Fine Surcharge of $1,250. River Valley Park Inc. was given one year to pay all fine amounts, with the option to apply for an extension of time to pay. In addition, Mr. Harjeet Singh Dusanjh was convicted of two violations under the Ontario Resources Water Act, and received a suspended sentence on both counts..

Background –
River Valley Park Inc. owns/operates a residential mobile home park located in the District of Algoma.
At the time of the offences, Mr. Harjeet Singh Dusanjh was a director, and the president of the company.
The site is serviced by a sewage system that is linked to a subsurface sewage treatment system.
In August 2014, a pro-active sewage system inspection was conducted at the site, Ministry orders were issued to the company in September 2014 and October 2015 requiring that actions be taken to address sewage problems at the site. The company did not comply with those orders
In July and December 2015, and again in March 2016, complaints were received by the ministry that the sewage system was overflowing to the ground surface.
In December 2015, the ministry issued two additional orders requiring that specific measures to be taken to address the sewage problems at the site and to submit a completed environmental approval application. The owner did not comply with these orders and the discharge of sewage to ground surface persisted.
The incident was referred to the ministry’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch resulting in charges being laid and convictions in court.