Veolia Water Canada Inc. makes fertilizer pellets (sold as Nutri-Pel) from secondary sewage sludge. It was fined $70,000 for letting some of them escape into a creek.
During the winter, Nutri-Pel is stored in bags at several sites. When these bags were being loaded, some pellets were spilled on a flooded field near a creek. Some pellets soaked in the creek water, and others became saturated from precipitation. Mitigating factors were that there did not appear to be actual harm to creek organisms, and the pellets are no longer stored at this site.
There had been two other incidents involving such pellets at other sites. Nutri-Pel dust from loading and bagging the product had been emitted off-site; Veolia complied with the MOE Provincial Officer’s request to stop loading operations for the day. On another occasion, a neighbor complained about odour. Veolia complied with a Provincial Officer Order to stop loading the product at the site until an acceptable dust control plan was in place, and bought new equipment that eliminates dust released when packing the pellets. The company no longer uses this site for storage of the pellets.
The company pleaded guilty to discharging the fertilizer pellets into the creek. Fine: $70,000 + 25% VFS (total $87,500).