Development company, consulting firm, CEO fined over environmental violations


Ontario Construction News staff writer

In a ruling by the London Court, South Winds Development Co. Inc., along with its president William Graham, and LDS Consultants Inc., and CEO Anthony Gubbels have been fined a total of $266,000 for multiple violations under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA), and Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The convictions stem from a series of offenses committed from July 6 to July 24, 2018, where the defendants were found guilty of permitting contaminants to flow into the natural environment, failing to comply with ministry approvals and damaging the habitat of endangered species, including the Spiny Softshell Turtle and the Eastern Hog-Nosed Snake.

South Winds Development Co. Inc. faced two ESA violations, one OWRA violation, and one EPA violation, resulting in a fine of $115,000 plus a victim fine surcharge (VFS) of $28,750. Additionally, South Winds was ordered to pay $50,000 to the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) within a year.

Graham was individually convicted of one OWRA violation and one EPA violation, receiving a fine of $23,000 plus a VFS of $5,750, with a year to pay.

LDS Consultants Inc., engaged by South Winds for engineering consultancy, was convicted of one OWRA violation, one ESA violation, and one EPA violation, and fined $49,000 plus a VFS of $12,250. Additionally, LDS was ordered to pay $22,500 to the Southern Ontario At Risk Reptiles (SOARR) program at the UTRCA within two years.

Also, the LDS CEO, faced one EPA violation and was fined $6,500 plus a VFS of $1,625, with a year to pay.

According to a provincial court bulletin, violations came to light when a local resident reported sediment discharge into the Thames River from Komoka Provincial Park on July 18, 2018. Subsequent inspections by the ministry confirmed that the site operated by South Winds was the source of the discharge.

A severe rainfall on July 24, 2018, exacerbated the situation, leading to further sediment discharge into the Thames River, impacting water quality and wildlife habitat. Independent experts noted that the stormwater management and erosion control measures in place were inadequate for the magnitude of the rainfall.

After an investigation, charges were issued by the Environmental Investigations and Enforcement Branch of the ministry, resulting in 10 convictions.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.