Illegal hazmat focus of Can-Am blitz

OTTAWA — Interpol reports 85 hazmat-related violations identified during a recent coordinated enforcement effort in New York, Michigan, and Ontario.

The second operation of its kind, enforcement agencies across the U.S. and Canada participated in a two-day operation aimed at cracking down on the illegal transportation of hazardous materials.

During the blitz on Aug. 17-18, the agencies checked 313 vehicles, identified 85 violations and launched two investigations.

The operation, which also identified criminal gang involvement in the illegal transport of hazmat, targeted major transportation routes in the New York, Michigan and Ontario, according to a release by Interpol, an international police organization, with 188 member countries.

Led by Environment Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the blitz also involved Interpol’s National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in Ottawa and Washington, which provided secure police communication channels, access to a range of Interpol databases and analytical support.

It also involved the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the Canada Border Services Agency.

"The illegal transportation of hazardous waste is a growing global concern," said Environment Canada’s chief enforcement officer, Albin Tremblay. "Fortunately we have proven that operations of this kind provide a clear message of deterrence."

In an annual safety blitz in Ontario those same days, 1,431 commercial vehicles were stopped — 31 of which out of service due to equipment issues or hours of service violations. In total, 355 commercial motor vehicle-related charges were issued.

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