Sorting Centre fined over $40,000; site still not compliant

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Allyson Beauregard

LITCHFIELD – The Pontiac Sorting Centre, located in the Industrial Park, was convicted of four offences under the Environment Quality Act (EQA) in mid-October last year stemming from charges in 2013 and 2015. The business was fined $37,500 and must pay $3,247 to reimburse the Ministry of the Environment for their legal fees.

Allyson Beauregard

LITCHFIELD – The Pontiac Sorting Centre, located in the Industrial Park, was convicted of four offences under the Environment Quality Act (EQA) in mid-October last year stemming from charges in 2013 and 2015. The business was fined $37,500 and must pay $3,247 to reimburse the Ministry of the Environment for their legal fees.
After an inspection on May 17, 2013, the business was found to have contravened three conditions of their certificate of authorization, issued in June 2012 and
modified in May 2014: wood and metal was stored elsewhere than the specified asphalted areas; sorting services were not waterproofed by installing concrete slabs; and asphalt shingles were stored outdoors.
More than two years later, September 8, 2015, the Centre was again charged for not taking appropriate measures to ensure materials were stored, processed and disposed of in authorized areas.
Despite being aware of these violations for quite some time, the situation hasn’t improved at the site.
“The most recent Ministry inspection on October 18, 2018 found that the amount of residual materials stored outside of authorized areas (now estimated at more than 650 tons) has increased and the site is still not compliant [with regulations]; storage platforms still haven’t been created as well as water treatment units,” said Sophie Gauthier, Ministry of the Environment Communications Director, noting the company has received 10 notices of non-conformity since 2013.
During her campaign, Warden Jane Toller charged that the site should be
investigated, primarily concerning the storage of asbestos. However, Toller
said because the business is located on private property and privately-owned, the MRC is limited in the ability to respond due to lack of jurisdiction.
“I hope the issue will be resolved as soon as possible. The business employs a lot of local people, so we want them to be successful, but in a time when we are trying to attract investors, we want things to be kept up to standards,” she said, noting the issue is entirely in the Ministry’s hands. 
According to Gauthier, the Ministry is performing other verifications, but cannot
elaborate on further interventions to protect the “effectiveness of their control
measures”. “[We] monitor the situation closely. The Ministry is evaluating all possible avenues and doesn’t exclude any recourse against the
company to ensure they return to conformity,” she concluded.   
Representatives from the Sorting Center didn’t respond to the Journal’s inquiries.