Ontario: Consultant fined $22,500 for submitting false information to Environment Ministry

Stephen Harold Arkell, an environmental consultant and owner of CR Consulting in Markham, was recently convicted on three violations under the Ontario Environmental Protection Act and was fined $22,500 plus a victim fine surcharge of $5,625 with 18 months to pay the fine. As part of the conviction an 18 month Probation Order was issued by the court.

The convictions relate to submitting false information electronically to the Ontario Environment Ministry’s Environmental Activity and Sector Registry.

Stephen Harold Arkell has an office in Markham and during the time of the violations, provided consulting services by preparing environmental application submissions for the purpose of obtaining Ontario Environment Ministry approvals and registering on the Environmental Activity Sector Registry. Mr. Arkell is not and has never been a licenced engineering practitioner.

Before conducting an activity that may discharge contaminants into the natural environment (other than water) legislation requires that the business or individual obtain a ministry approval or register on the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry. A licenced engineer is needed to complete these requirements.

During the period, Mr. Arkell prepared and submitted registrations to the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry on behalf of clients engaged in activities that required a registration due to their potential to emit contaminant(s) to the air. 

In all cases, the registrations that Mr. Arkell prepared and submitted indicated that the required documents had been prepared by an engineer and also indicated an engineer licence number. However, this information was false. By committing these offences, Mr. Arkell impacted the registrations of three separate companies between July 2017 and January 2018.

The ministry’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid charges resulting in three convictions.

Mr. Arkell’s LinkedIn indicates that he has been the owner of CR Consulting since 2010. It states that his company prepares air emission applications for industries who are required to register with the Ministry of the Environment for Certificates of Approval (air). As part of the application process, the company prepares Emission Summary and Dispersion Modeling reports.