Waste Oil Refinery fined $100,000 for Environmenal Protection Act Violation

Kitchener, ON (8/12/2019) – Convicted – Safety Kleen Canada Inc. Court Location – Kitchener. Description of Offence – The conviction relates to discharging a contaminant into the natural environment which may cause an adverse effect. Date of Offence – During the period on or about October 23, 2017. Date of Conviction – July 29, 2019 Penalty Imposed – Safety Kleen Canada Inc. was convicted of one violation under the Environment Protection Act and was fined $100,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $25,000 with 90 days to pay the fine.


Safety-Kleen Canada, Inc. is the owner/operator of a waste oil refinery located in the Township of Woolwich.

On October 23, 2017, company employees were performing routine maintenance at the site, which involved the transfer of spent oil derivatives that contained sulphur compounds from a distillation tank into a vacuum truck.

During that process, sulphur compounds contained in the oil generated odours that were discharged to the air through the exhaust port on the vacuum truck.

As a result, a strong ‘rotten egg’ odour like that experienced during a natural gas discharge spread across residential neighbourhoods in nearby communities.

The odour discharge resulted in over 100 separate complaints from area residents and business owners to the ministry, local fire departments, and Union Gas.

While the matter was being investigated, the Woolwich Fire Department directed the Breslau Public School (located approximately 2 kilometres north of the site) to shut off ventilation intake, close all doors and windows, and have the children ‘shelter in place’ as a precaution.

The ministry’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid a charge which resulted in the conviction.

Contacts: Members of the media: Gary Wheeler Communications Branch (416) 314-6666; Contact information for the general public: 416-325-4000