Triple M Metal Corp., a scrap metal company with operations throughout Ontario, was recently fined $225,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $56,250 in a Hamilton, Ontario court for a number of offences under the Environmental Protection Act.

The conviction and fine were for the following offences at two Triple M facilities in Hamilton:

  • Using, operating, or constructing any plant, structure, equipment, apparatus, mechanism or thing that may discharge a contaminant into the environment without ministry approval
  • On two separate occasions, failing to comply with a ministry Order by failing to notify the ministry of an explosion within a shredder
  • On two separate occasions, failing to comply with a ministry Order by failing to ensure that no prohibited materials were processed within a shredder unless all gases, fluids, or other substances that may cause an explosion had been removed

Brampton Street Facility, Hamilton

The portion of the fine related to operations at Triple M’s scrap metal facility in Hamilton result from a 2019 inspection by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) in which representatives of Triple M advised the ministry of the company’s plans to remove and install new equipment at the facility, including a new shear. A shear is a piece of equipment used to cut up large pieces of metal into smaller sections.

The MECP subsequently advised Triple M that an application would be required to amend the company’s Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA) to cover the installation of the new shear. An application to amend the ECA was never received by the ministry.

In December 2020, the MECP began to receive noise complaints with respect to operations at the Hamilton facility. During a site visit in January 2021, the MECP was informed that a new shear had been installed at the facility. The shear was installed without the company applying for the required amendment to the ECA.

Parkdale Avenue North Facility, Hamilton

At the Parkdale Avenue North facility, the company operates an automotive shredder line at the Parkdale Avenue facility under a MECP-issued Environmental Compliance Approval (ECA). The automotive shredder has been the source of several noise complaints from nearby residents, deemed to correspond with explosions originating from shredder activities.

In response to noise complaints, the MECP issued an Order to Triple M in May 2020. The Order required the company to ensure that no prohibited materials were processed within the shredder unless all gases, fluids, or other substances that may cause an explosion have been removed. Additionally, the company was required to notify the ministry of any explosion that occurred within the shredder.

Reports of multiple explosions at the Parkdale Avenue facility were received between May 2020 and November 2021. These explosions occurred as a result of the company failing to remove prohibited materials before they were processed in the shredder. Further, the company failed to notify the ministry of the explosions that occurred in May 2020 and March 2021.

The MECP’s Environmental Investigations and Enforcement Branch investigated and laid charges which resulted in the convictions.

Source: Ontario Government Newsroom