The City of St. Catharines, Ontario, through its Fire Services, recently laid charges in the aftermath of the explosion and subsequent fires that occurred at 20 Keefer Road in Port Weller on Jan. 12, 2023. Ssonix Products and three directors are each facing 21 charges under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act.
“The charges laid in connection with the Keefer Road incident underscore our commitment to keeping our community safe,” said Fire Chief Dave Upper. “We will continue to work diligently to ensure a thorough and fair legal process. Our thoughts remain with those affected by this incident as we move towards a resolution.”
If convicted the company could be subject to the penalty provisions set out in section 28(1) of the Fire Protection and Prevention Act; A corporation convicted of an offence is liable to a fine of not more than $500,000 for a first offence. For the three company directors charged with offences, they could be liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 for a first offence, probation, or to imprisonment for a term of not more than one year, or to all three.
The explosion at the St. Catharines hazardous waste treatment facility happened in the early morning of January 12th, 2023. Ryan Konkin was the only worker in the building at the time of the explosion died in the hospital after being rescued. The explosion and ensuing fire forced nearby residents from their homes and took firefighters the entire day to put out the fire.
It was estimated that 1.5 million litres of water was used to put out the fire at the facility.
In August, Ssonix Products applied for an amendment to its existing environmental compliance approval (ECA) so that it can reopen to restart processing of waste. If an amended ECA is granted by the Ontario Environment Ministry, the company will be permitted to use the facility for the temporary storage and processing of liquid industrial waste, liquid hazardous, hazardous and non-hazardous waste.