With no further offences and a minimal amount of environmental damage, a provincial court judge ordered a Kamloops dairy farmer to pay $13,000 in fines and contributions for allowing illegal dumping.
Judge Stella Frame said Tuesday that Ted Blackwell and E.J. Blackwell Holdings Ltd. will pay $6,500 each, with $1,500 to be paid by fine and a $5,000 contribution each to B.C.’s Habitat Conservation Trust Fund.
The amount is considerably less than the Crown’s recommendation that Blackwell and his company pay $50,000 in fines but more than the defence’s suggested amount of $7,000.
In her decision, Frame said the fine sought by Crown prosecutor Joel Gold didn’t reflect the reality of the profits nor did the fines proposed by defence lawyer Michael O’Neill reflect the gravity of an environmental offence.
Gold previously told the court that Blackwell and his company profited $42,000 from a contract to take demolition waste from two hotel projects.
Frame noted that Blackwell had no prior offences before he and the company were found guilty in May of failing to file required annual reports, and introducing waste into the environment without a permit.
Charges were filed under B.C.’s Waste Management Act.
Frame also noted that there was no lasting environmental damage and sufficient evidence that Blackwell made an effort to clean up the mess.
“The most significant mitigating factors are that the landfills are now in compliance and that purpose of the landfills is not to generate profit but to reclaim farm land,” she said.
Following Frame’s decision, a disappointed Blackwell told The Daily News he will comply with the sentence.
He maintained the landfill was designed to reclaim farmland and that corn currently grows at the site, which is located at his farm off Barnhartvale Road.
“It’s just being harvested,” said Blackwell. “It’s not like any other landfill.”
Blackwell has three months to pay the amounts.