The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) recently reported that Tactical Ordnance Inc. and Casey Brouwer pleaded guilty to one offence each and were fined a total of $60,000 for failing to give notice of a discharge or spill of a pollutant to the ministry, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).

Tactical Ordnance Inc. (the company) specializes in custom gunsmithing, performance firearms, and tactical specialty products for law enforcement and civilians and is located in the Township of King (the site).

Casey Brouwer is the owner, president and sole officer and director of the company.

On May 12, 2016, the company and Mr. Brouwer had control of the pollutant CS powder, which was accidentally spilled from a container resulting in a discharge into the air at the site.

CS powder is an irritant that is used as a component of some types of tear gas for riot control purposes.

A childcare centre is located next door to the site.

At the time of the discharge, approximately sixteen children and two childcare staff members were outside the childcare centre on a playground.

Wind blew the CS powder onto the playground causing the children and staff to experience adverse effects including sore and burning throats, coughing, difficulty breathing and watering eyes.

Mr. Brouwer and the company failed to report the discharge to the ministry and failed to provide details regarding quantity of discharge, source and location, the cause and circumstances of the discharge, and the known hazards and adverse effects of the CS powder, as required by the Act.

Subsequently, the matter was referred to the ministry’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch. Following an investigation, the defendant was convicted.

On April 28, 2017, Tactical Ordnance Inc. and Casey Brouwer were convicted of one offence each. The company was fined $50,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $12,500, and Mr. Brouwer was fined $10,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $2,500, with six months to pay the fine.