City could face charges and fines once the province completes its investigation

GUELPH – The City of Guelph could be fined for a pair of sewage spills earlier this year that sent 4.4 million litres of raw sewage into the Eramosa River.

A spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) said the investigation remains ongoing and that the ministry will consult with the Crown attorney’s office to determine what, if any, charges should be laid.

“The incidents were referred to the Ministry’s Environmental Enforcement & Compliance Branch for investigation. The ministry is investigating violations related to impacts to water quality, which includes review of the operations leading up to the spill,” said Gary Wheeler.

“In all cases, it is up to the discretion of the court to determine the fine. The amount of the fine varies depending on which section of which act the charges are under, severity of the event, whether it is an individual or a company that is charged and past compliance history.”

On Feb. 17 a man walking his dog noticed a large overflow of sewage along the Royal Recreation Trail in York Road Park where the city was installing a new sewer line.

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