Ontario is using penalties collected from environmental violations to fund 10 projects to restore and protect the environment. Projects being funded include waterway habitat improvements, shoreline tree plantings, and spill prevention. In 2012, 16 Environmental Penalty Orders were issued, adding $165,395 to the Ontario Community Environment Fund.
Environmental penalties are issued to industries that have spilled a contaminant into the environment, or that did not comply with regulatory requirements. The Ontario Community Environment Fund (OCEF) uses the penalties collected from those spillers to support environmental improvement projects, if possible in the watershed where a violation happened.
Applications will be accepted for the next round of OCEF grants until November 8, 2013. Eligible groups, municipalities, schools, conservation authorities, First Nations and Métis communities and other not-for-profit organizations, can apply for more than $320,000 available across 13 communities where penalties were collected.