Waste management companies to pay $87,000 for PCB spill

April 9, 2015 - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan provincial court on January 14, 2015, representatives of Custom Environmental Services Ltd., and Aevitas Inc., entered guilty pleas to an offence under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA, 1999), resulting from a spill of oil containing PCBs.

On April 1, 2015, sentencing resulted in penalties of $50,000 for Custom Environmental Services Ltd. and $37,000 for Aevitas Inc. The combined penalties of $87,000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF).

The two companies had been charged following the discovery of a spill of approximately 100 litres of oil containing PCBs from a tractor trailer at a weigh scale near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on February 2, 2012.

At the time of the incident, Custom Environmental Services Ltd. was a separate corporate entity, transporting a shipment on behalf of Aevitas Inc. The company has since been acquired by Aevitas Inc.

Environment Canada’s enforcement officers conducted an on-site inspection and determined that an oil-like substance was leaking from the wooden floor of the trailer.

A subsequent investigation by Environment Canada’s Enforcement Branch revealed that the truck lacked a proper secondary containment system to prevent oil containing concentrations of PCBs from being released into the environment. A lab analysis confirmed that the oil released contained concentrations of PCBs at approximately 200,000 times the minimum level subject to a prohibition against release under paragraph 5(1)(a) of the PCB Regulations.

As a result of this conviction, the companies’ names will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.

Quick Facts

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls, commonly known as chlorobiphenyls or PCBs, are toxic industrial chemicals which were used in the manufacturing of electrical equipment, heat exchangers, and hydraulic systems, often to keep the units from overheating. PCBs cause harm in aquatic ecosystems and in species that eat primarily aquatic organisms.
  • CEPA, 1999, is an Act respecting pollution prevention and the protection of the environment and human health in order to contribute to sustainable development.
  • The Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) is administered by Environment Canada. It was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit our natural environment.
  • The Environmental Offenders Registry lists information regarding convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws since June 18, 2009--when the Environmental Enforcement Act received Royal Assent.

Associated Links

CEPA Environmental Registry

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Environmental Damages Fund

Environmental Offenders Registry


Media Relations

Environment Canada


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