In May 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC’s) enforcement officers responded to a report from a member of the public of an oily substance floating on the surface of Schneider Creek, which is a fish-bearing tributary of the Grand River. Schneider Creek is home to multiple species of minnows such as the longnose dace, creek chub and brook stickleback.
After an investigation, officers determined that the substance had come from demolition activities at a property that Drewlo Holdings Inc. was developing in Kitchener, Ontario. Environment and Climate Change Canada laboratory results revealed that the oily substance contained hydrocarbonsthat are deleterious to fish. Depositing or permitting the deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish, or in any place where the substance may enter any such water, is a violation of the Fisheries Act.
Environment Canada recently reported that Drewlo Holdings Inc. entered into an alternative measures agreement with the Director of Public Prosecutions acting under and on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada, in response to Environment and Climate Change Canada laying a charge Environmental under the Fisheries Act. As part of the agreement, the company agreed to pay $300,000 to the Government of Canada’s Damages Fund.
In addition, Drewlo Holdings Inc. also agreed to engage a qualified environmental consultant to review the company’s current practices, evaluate the company’s existing compliance with regulations and develop a training program for employees in leadership positions. The charge against the company was dismissed on November 10, 2021, after it was confirmed that all measures outlined in the alternative measures agreement were completed.
Created in 1995, the Environmental Damages Fund is a Government of Canada program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Fund ensures that fines and court-awarded penalties are used to support projects that will benefit the environment.