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Eric and Yvonne Van Boekel, Van Boekel Hog Farms Inc. and Van Boekel Holdings Inc. were fined a total of $345,000 plus 25% victim fine surcharge, for repeated hog manure spills from two pig farms, that caused adverse effects to their neighbours and impaired water quality. Mr. Van Boekel  was also sentenced to serve 30 days in jail.

in relation to six of the charges, to be served concurrently on weekends.

Although hog manure discharges frequently cause serious adverse effects on neighbours and the environment, they rarely attract commensurate penalties due to the limited financial circumstances of many farmers, and to the sympathy that many judges feel for farmers. BTW, the defendants received a grant of $45,560.51 from the federal government in 2009. Here are the details:

 

Sentencing – Eric W. Van Boekel was fined $20,000 and ordered to serve 30 days in jail on weekends, Yvonne B. Van Boekel was fined $5,000 and Van Boekel Holdings Inc. was fined $25,000 – between

April 21, 2007 and April 30, 2007, in the Township of East Zorra-Tavistock, did commit the offence of discharging a contaminant, namely pig manure, into the natural environment that caused or was likely to have caused an adverseeffect, contrary to Section 14(1) of the EPA. 

Sentencing – Eric W. Van Boekel was fined $20,000 and ordered to serve 30 days in jail concurrent on weekends, Yvonne B. Van Boekel was fined $5,000 and Van Boekel Holdings Inc. was fined $25,000 – between

April 21, 2007 and April 30, 2007, in the Township of East Zorra-Tavistock, did commit the offence of discharging pig manure onto landadjacent to a barn and then into the Thames River, which impaired or may have impaired the quality of the water, contrary to Section 30 (1) of the OWRA.

 

Sentencing – Eric W. Van Boekel was fined $20,000 and ordered to serve 30 days in jail concurrent on weekends and Yvonne B. Van Boekel was fined $5,000 – between April 21, 2007 and April 30, 2007, in the Township of East Zorra-Tavistock, did commit the offence of being a Director or Officer of Van Boekel Holdings Inc., failed in his or her duty to take all reasonable care to prevent the corporation fromcausing or permitting the discharge of a material, namely pig manure, which may impair the quality of the waters in contravention of Section 116 (1) (a) (i) of the OWRA.

 

 (Sentenced – Eric W. Van Boekel – fined $20,000 and ordered to serve 30 days in jail concurrent on weekends and Van Boekel Hog Farms Inc. – fined $75,000) – beginning on or about May 2, 2007, and ending on or about May 3, 2007, in the Township of Norwich, did commit the offence of discharging a contaminant, namely pig manure, into the natural environment that caused or was likely to have caused an adverse effect, contrary to Section 14(1) of the EPA.

 

 (Sentenced – Eric Van Boekel – fined $20,000 and ordered to serve 30 days in jail concurrent on weekends and Van Boekel Hog Farms Inc. – fined $75,000) – beginning on or about May 2, 2007, and ending on or about May 3, 2007, in the Township of Norwich, did commit the offence of discharging a material, namely pig manure, onto land adjacent to, and then into Sweets Creek, which impaired or may have impaired the quality of the water contrary to Section 30(1) of the OWRA.

 

 (Sentenced – Eric W. Van Boekel – fined $20,000 and ordered to serve 30 days in jail concurrent on weekends – beginning on or about

May 2, 2007, and ending on or about May 3, 2007, in the Township of Norwich, did commit the offence of being a director or officer of Van Boekel Hog Farms Inc., failed in his duty to take all reasonable care to prevent the corporation from permitting the discharge of a material, namely pig manure, which may impair the quality of the waters contrary to Section 116 (1) (a) (i) of the OWRA.

 

 (Sentenced – Eric W. Van Boekel – fined $5,000 and two years’ probation Van Boekel Hog Farms Inc. $5,000) – beginning on or about

May 2, 2007, and ending on or about May 3, 2007, in the Township of Norwich, did commit the offence of applying pig manure directlyfrom a storage facility to land by a direct flow application system, by failing to have two or more operators in voice or electronic contact with each other at all times or by failing to have one operator close enough to the system to shut it down within one minute after observing that a problem event has occurredthat resulted in manure escaping into the natural environment, contrary to Section 50(2) of Reg. 267/03 made under the NMA thereby committing an offence under Section 43(1)(a) of the NMA.

 

 by Jackie Campbell and Dianne Saxe

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