Court fines Alberta carrier, director $140,000 for diesel spill in Ontario lake

by Today's Trucking

A Nipigon, Ont., court on March 22 fined an Alberta trucking company and its director $140,000 for Environmental Protection Act (EPA) violations, after one of its trucks crashed and spilled diesel into an Ontario lake.

In April 2021, a vehicle owned by V Trans was involved in an accident on Highway 11 near Lake Helen, in Northern Ontario, according to a news release. That accident resulted in a diesel spill that contaminated the soil and vegetation in the ditch and traveled through a culvert into nearby Lake Helen.

Lake Helen is a source of drinking water for the Lake Helen First Nation community and located within their traditional territory where they exercise their Aboriginal and treaty rights. It is also a cold water fishery that supports species that are particularly sensitive to hydrocarbon contamination.

(Photo: iStock)

The ministry discovered the spill in May 2021 and contacted V Trans advising it of its duty to report and clean up the spill. The defendants did not adequately contain the spill and did not clean up the contamination.

In July 2021, a ministry order was issued to V Trans and Husanpreet Singh, the company’s director, requiring that spill clean-up and site remediation be completed. Additionally, a report describing this work was to be prepared by a qualified professional and submitted to the ministry. The defendants failed to comply with the order by the deadline.

Ministry paid $84,004 for clean-up

Neither the company nor Singh took any action to complete spill clean-up or site remediation and failed to respond to the ministry’s requests for updates.

In November 2022, the ministry retained a third party to remediate the spill and paid $84,004.58 using funds from the ministry’s Environmental Clean-Up Fund.

The court convicted V Trans for having control of a pollutant that was spilled and failing to notify the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, failing to comply with a ministry order by failing to remove all contamination from a site, and failing to provide the ministry with a report prepared by a qualified professional.


Singh was found guilty of failing to remove all contamination from a site, failing to provide the ministry with a report prepared by a qualified professional, and failing in his duty as the director of V Trans to notify the ministry of a discharge of a contaminant, namely diesel fuel.

V Trans was convicted of three violations under the EPA, fined $125,000 plus a victim fine surcharge (VFS) of $31,250 and given 15 days to pay.

Singh was convicted of three violations under the EPA, fined $15,000 plus a VFS of $3,750, and given 15 days to pay. As part of sentencing, an order was issued to the defendants under Section 190.1 of the EPA requiring that $84,004.58 be paid to the Minister of Finance within 30 days of conviction.

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  • All legally operated trucking businesses will look forward to an update on this action by the Court in Nipigon. Will the named company and it’s director pay these penalties? If you think so there are some folks in Florida with some “pristine” vacation property for sale. You better act fast.