Polluters Pay More If They Don’t Keep Water Clean

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The days of a “slap on the wrist” are a thing of the past with seven figure penalties being assessed even against companies that inadvertently contribute to water pollution.

By Isaac Rudik at Compliance Solutions Canada – A Nimonik affiliate

Along with acting against other pollution issues, the federal and provincial governments are cracking down on water contamination caused by industrial, agricultural and municipal sources. Not only is Ottawa pouring more money into dealing with water pollution, it’s nearly doubling the number of inspectors and enforcement officers to more than 320.

Unlike water itself, it is increasingly difficult for businesses to drip through the cracks as anti-pollution laws and regulations covering water get tougher – and fines get steeper. The days of a “slap on the wrist” are a thing of the past with seven figure penalties being assessed even against companies that inadvertently contribute to water pollution.

It’s happening because environmental experts agree that the best way to tackle pollution is through something called “polluter pays.”

Basically, this means that whoever causes pollution pays for the clean up, in numerous ways:

  • Tanker owners must buy insurance covering the cost of any oil spill cleanup.
  • Factories using rivers must have water inlet pipes downstream of their effluent outflow pipes, so if they cause pollution they are the first to suffer.
  • Even shoppers pay, being charged for plastic grocery bags – now required in Toronto – to encourage recycling and minimize waste.

Ultimately, polluter pays is designed to deter people from polluting by making it less expensive for them to be green. Continue Reading Here.