Bradford Cheese Company Fined $80,000 for Failing to Report a Spill and Breach of a Certificate of Approval
Barrie – A Bradford Cheese company was fined a total of $80,000 for failing to notify the ministry of a spill of whey and for a breach of its Amended Certificate of Approval, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resources Act.
Silani Sweet Cheese Limited manufactures a variety of cheeses including ricotta at a facility located in Bradford, West Gwillimbury.
On January 21, 2013, ricotta cheese whey overflowed from a silo at the site. The discharge lasted up to ten minutes. The ricotta cheese whey exited the site and travelled to an adjacent field owned by a neighbour. Approximately 1200 litres of whey flowed into the field towards a very small slow flowing stream inhabited by minnows and invertebrates.
In assessing the spill, the ministry determined that the spilled whey had the potential to have an adverse effect on the plant and animal life in the stream. A search of the ministry’s records revealed that the company failed to notify the ministry of the circumstances and of the action that was taken or intended to be taken with respect to the spill.
Silani Sweet Cheese Limited operates under an amended Certificate of Approval, which requires the company to operate their sewage works to ensure that the average concentration limit of Total Phosphorus in the effluent does not exceed 0.30mg/L in any month. Silani’s Annual Report identified a monthly average concentration of Total Phosphorous at the site for March, 2012 at 0.47mg.L
This meant the company did not comply with a condition of the amended Certificate of Approval as it failed to operate the Sewage works at the stipulated limit of 0.30mg/L.
The company was fined a total of $80,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $20,000 and was given 18 months to pay the fine.