Earlier this month, a truck driver pleaded guilty to failing to provide notice of
a diesel fuel spill to the Ministry of Environment and Climate
Change ("MOECC"). He was fined $8,000 (plus the 25%
victim fine surcharge of $1,250) for the offence, and ordered to
pay $10,950.07 in restitution to the fuel station that cleaned up
The individual charged was employed as a truck driver by a
Stoney Creek company. On an overnight stop in Dryden Ontario,
between 100 and 200 litres of diesel fuel leaked from the truck.
When the driver awoke and exited his cab, he noticed the fuel and
inspected the truck for the source of the leak. He then got back
into the truck and drove away without taking any measures to
contain the spill or notify the MOECC of the spill. All of this was
captured on security footage at the fuel station where he
The fuel station staff contained and arranged for the
professional clean-up of the spill, and also reported it to the
Under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), a
"person having control of a pollutant that is spilled and
every person who spills or causes or permits a spill of a
pollutant" is required to forthwith notify the MOECC and the
municipality where the spill has occurred, and is required to
explain the circumstances of the spill and actions that the person
has taken or will take related to the spill. Under the EPA, persons
with control of the spill also have a duty to forthwith prevent,
eliminate and ameliorate a spill that causes or is likely to cause
an adverse effect.
This reporting duty is taken very seriously by the MOECC. It
frequently seeks convictions for persons who fail to report a
spill, and this is yet another example. For more information about
reporting obligations, you can read more
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