Lafarge Canada fined $200,000 for breaching EPA

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Lafarge Canada Inc. was convicted in Napanee court for breaching the Environmental Protection Act in October 2019 when the Highway 33 cement plant released clinker dust that fell on the Village of Bath.

An investigation by the Ministry of Environment resulted in a charge against LaFarge.

From about Oct. 23 to 27, 2019, there was a discharge of clinker dust into the natural environment as a result of a mechanical failure at the facility. Lafarge Canada reported the discharge to the environment ministry and took steps to repair the mechanical issues.

Residents said their cars, homes and lawns were covered with dust accidentally expelled from the cement plant and carried easterly on the wind. According to the ministry investigation, there were no health impacts from the dust incursion.

According to media reports at the time, LaFarge plant manager Ignacio Arroyo issued a company letter to Loyalist Township residents apologizing for the incident.

“Myself and our plant team unreservedly apologize for the upset and concern that our dust release has caused all of you. We intend to make it right and make sure it never happens again.”

Last month, according to a court bulletin from the provincial government, LaFarge was convicted in Napanee court Feb. 15 and fined $200,000 “for discharging or causing or permitting the discharge of a contaminant into the natural environment, namely clinker dust, which caused or was likely to cause an adverse effect.”

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