Company fined $30,000 for waiting 2 hours to call authorities after diesel spill by Sherri Zickefoose, December 10, 2013, Calgary Herald
A Calgary property management company has been hit with a steep fine for waiting two hours before calling authorities after spilling 300 litres of diesel on top of a downtown office tower. Brookfield Properties Management Corporation and Brookfield Properties was handed $30,000 in fines by a provincial court judge for the spill at Fifth Avenue Place at 420 2nd St. S.W. June 21, 2011. If the spilled fuel entered the roof drainage system or ignited, the consequences could have been catastrophic. The diesel spilled on the roof of the 34th floor during the installation of a new generator and diesel storage tank. It took more than two hours after the spill was detected for staff and contractors working on-site to notify emergency responders. Fire crews activated the fire alarm and evacuated the building immediately. There were no injuries.
The Alberta Fire Code requires building owners, managers and operators to notify emergency responders immediately. “Failing to ensure that the fire department is notified immediately once a flammable or combustible liquid has spilled, is a serious offence,” said Calgary Fire Department fire marshal Ed Kujat. “There is risk to both people and the environment.” “Serious incidents such as this require emergency responders to be involved,” said Kujat. “It’s a public safety issue. Building owners, managers and operators have a legal duty to ensure that they are in compliance with the Alberta Fire Code and the Safety Codes Act. We are pleased that this responsibility was recognized and re-enforced by the courts.” The maximum fines for these charges were limited to $15,000 for each offence. Fines for violations have gone up significantly in Alberta for offences occurring after December 2012 — from a maximum penalty of $15,000 per offence, now up to a new maximum of $100,000 per offence. [Emphasis added]
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