Environmental penalties are monetary penalties that can be imposed by the Ministry of the Environment when industrial facilities spill.
Penalties of up to $100,000 per day for every day a facility is in violation can be assessed by ministry directors within a month after an incident has occurred. While using the court system to prosecute companies for industrial spills will still be necessary in some cases, the civil administrative penalties framework encourages companies to make greater efforts to prevent spills and provide additional incentives to clean them up quickly.
Environmental penalties apply to facilities that are part of the nine industrial sectors regulated by the Municipal-Industrial Strategy for Abatement (MISA) regulations – petroleum, organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals, industrial minerals, metal mining, metal casting, iron and steel, pulp paper, and electric power generation facilities.
The Environmental Enforcement Statute Law Amendment Act, passed on June 9, 2005, enables the ministry to assess environmental penalties. This legislation amends the Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario Water Resources Act.
The new regulations gave the legislation force and effect by providing the framework for assessing the penalties. The framework: