January 20, 2020 - The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry would like to
remind companies that allowing sediment to enter waterways is illegal and can damage
bodies of water.
A Toronto-based corporation has been fined $275,000 for releasing sediment into
two creeks near Cochrane between April and December 2015.
Justice Michel R. Labelle of the Ontario Court of Justice in Cochrane heard that
Northland Power Inc. owns four solar farms in the area north of Cochrane. In 2015,
during the construction of these solar farms, some rainfall events overwhelmed the
erosion and sediment control systems. Breaches in these control systems allowed
sediment-laden water to flow into two creeks.
Justice Labelle found Northland Power Inc. guilty of two offences under the Lakes
and Rivers Improvement Act (LRIA). He imposed a fine of $200,000 for impacts to
Munroe Creek in Glackmeyer township and $75,000 for impacts to Smith Creek in Calder
Justice Labelle noted that the company had spent close to $4 million to control
the silt discharges and clearly took their environmental obligations seriously.
He found that specific deterrence was not necessary for Northland in light of its
conduct, but that these fines were necessary to demonstrate to others that any harm
to the environment is unacceptable.
A separate company, which was the contractor on the project, previously pled guilty
to an offence under the LRIA for causing impacts to Munroe Creek. That company was
Ministry conservation officers work tirelessly to help make sure we can all enjoy
Ontario's natural resources in a safe and respectful manner. To report a natural
resource violation, call the ministry TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free, or
contact your local ministry office. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously
We need your help to solve cases. Please visit ontario.ca/mnrftips to view an interactive,
searchable map of unsolved cases. You may have valuable information that can help.