1197338 Ontario Inc. was fined $150,000 plus the 25% Victim Fine
Surcharge for failing to comply with a Director's Order to
clean up a spill of PCBs; its president, Lawrence Brander was
sentenced to 30 days in jail for the same offence. But why did the
spill occur? According to the Ministry of the Environment, the
court heard that the company owns a waste storage site in
Wallaceburg and that Mr. Brander is the president. In November
2008, Mr. Brander had called the ministry to report that a
transformer had been vandalized and a quantity of PCB-laden oil had
leaked from the transformer and had soaked into the ground. The
vandal appears to have been unknown. MOE responded by ordering both
the company and Mr. Brander to cleanup the spill. The four orders
had work items that were required to be completed by specified
dates. Neither the company or Mr. Brander complied with any of the
required work items within the specified time frames or
It is not uncommon for the Ministry to impose cleanup orders on
property owners and their officers/directors in these
circumstances. Mr. Brander appealed the Orders to the Environmental
Review Tribunal, arguing that his company did not own the
transformer or its PCBs, and should not have been required to pay
for its cleanup. The ERT rejected this argument and upheld the Orders, since Mr. Brander's
company undoubtedly owned the land where the spill occurred.
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