Files Response to Proposed Order Addressing Contamination in East Hamilton
CHATHAM, ON, Dec. 18, 2015 /CNW/ – Union Gas today called on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to uphold the government's “polluter pays” principle regarding a contamination issue in east Hamilton.
The company responded to a proposed MOECC order that would hold the company and other neighbouring property owners accountable for the cost of investigating and addressing contamination in east Hamilton that that they did not cause or contribute to. The source of the contaminants, which continue to flow to the Union Gas property and others, is a neighbouring property where electrical capacitors were made.
In its response, the company said the MOECC must enforce environmental laws and protect the environment, consistent with the government's “polluter pays” principle. The MOECC must hold responsible those persons who caused or permitted the contamination and must require that work first be done at the source. To view the response visit uniongas.com/news.
The Premier has clearly and expressly mandated the MOECC to enforce the “polluter pays” principle that is in the MOECC's own Statement of Environmental Values, which the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario highlighted in her most recent report.
“By enforcing the laws and adhering to the Government's “polluter pays” principle, the MOECC will best protect the environment by ensuring polluters are accountable for their actions,” said Mike Shannon, vice president of distribution operations for Union Gas. “Looking to the victims, who ultimately include utility customers, to pay for problems created by others is a dangerous precedent that would invite those who cause or permit contamination to do so without fear of being held responsible.”
As a responsible community member, and in keeping with its long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility, Union Gas has voluntarily and proactively undertaken work on its property and incurred costs to address contaminants flowing from the neighbouring property, including filling in storm sewers to prevent the contaminants from the source property from migrating through the sewer system.
Union Gas and the company's almost 200 local employees have been responsible members of the Hamilton community for over 100 years. They deliver leading-edge energy efficiency programs to homes and businesses, support hundreds of local charities and provide energy assistance programs for income-eligible families. The community benefits from the almost $6 million in property taxes Union Gas pays on its pipelines and facilities every year and the company recently invested $30-million in a new technical training and service centre on a brownfield site in the city.
“In these ways, and countless others, we have shown we are responsible and environmentally conscious members of the Hamilton community,” added Shannon.
About Union Gas
Union Gas Limited is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with 100 years of experience and service to customers. The storage and transmission business offers a variety of storage and transportation services to customers at the Dawn Hub, the fastest growing liquid market hub in North America with the largest underground storage facility in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The Dawn Hub offers customers an important link in the movement of natural gas from Western Canadian and U.S. supply basins to markets in central Canada and the northeast U.S. One of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2015, Union Gas is a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company with assets of $7 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com or follow us on twitter.com/uniongas, facebook.com/uniongas and youtube.com/user/uniongas.
SOURCE Union Gas Limited