Domenic Cosentino and Company Limited was recently convicted of two violations under the Ontario Environmental Protection Act (EPA), fined $70,000 plus a victim fine surcharge (VFS) of $17,500 and given one month to pay the fines. Anthony Cosentino was convicted of one violation under the EPA, fined $5,000 plus a VFS of $1,250 and given one month to pay the fines.
Domenic Cosentino and Company Limited (DCCL) is a small family-owned business. Anthony Cosentino is listed as a Director of DCCL.
On October 22, 2020, the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) received a report of a football field-sized oil sheen near Port Credit Marina in Mississauga where the Credit River discharges to Lake Ontario. Ministry staff attended the scene and observed the oil sheen in Lake Ontario, as well as two tagged swans covered in oil.
On October 23, 2020, the source of the sheen was traced to 3473 Wolfedale Road in Mississauga. At the time, the site was owned by DCCL. Anthony Cosentino was called and he attended the site. Mr. Cosentino promptly hired a contractor to clean up the discharge.
The site had previously been rented to two trucking companies. There were two 500-gallon waste oil storage tanks on site, which had been unused and untouched for several years. At the time, the site was being prepared for sale. Mr. Cosentino had hired two temporary workers to clean up the site and remove the oil tanks.
Mr. Cosentino believed that the oil storage tanks that used to hold oil, contained only rainwater. He was not present to supervise the clean-up, nor did he confirm the contents of the storage tanks. During clean-up efforts a pipe broke and waste oil was released from one or both tanks. Some of the oil flowed to a catch basin that outlets to the Wolfedale Creek, which drains into the Credit River. In addition, a trench had been dug along the east fence line, which allowed spilled oil on the property to flow under the fence onto the adjacent embankment and into Wolfedale Creek.
Lab analysis revealed that the oil contained a mixture of hydrocarbons which resembled a mixture of biodegraded petroleum products with a possible trace amount of diesel. Hydrocarbons are a physical contaminant that are deleterious to aquatic organisms and harmful to terrestrial wildlife.
Following the incident, the Toronto Wildlife Centre rescued a total of nine oil-slicked waterfowl from the lower Credit River. One swan died due to complications resulting from the spill. A search of ministry records revealed that DCCL failed to notify the ministry of any spills and/or discharges at the site. The ministry’s Environmental Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid charges which resulted in three convictions.