A man charged with 52 hazardous waste infractions was expected to plead guilty to three of them today (Friday) in Abbotsford provincial court, but the matter was adjourned until Feb. 17.
The judge was told that Ed Ilnicki, who did not appear in court, needs more time to consult with his lawyer about some additional information he has provided.
Meanwhile, online documents reveal that Ilnicki testified at a 2006 Environmental Appeal Board (EAB) hearing that he took materials from a site on Industrial Avenue that was declared an environmental emergency and moved them to a new location on Wheel Avenue.
However, he said the materials he moved were not hazardous waste and they were necessary for his new business.
He also admitted that he later moved materials from Wheel Avenue to two other locations – in his own vehicles without authorization from the ministry of environment.
Ilnicki is the former owner of Canada Petroleum Corporation (CPC) on Industrial Avenue. That site was declared an environmental emergency in 2005 due to materials left behind when Ilnicki moved the previous year.
Ilnicki was charged with 11 hazardous waste offences in 2001 and pleaded guilty to two of them in June 2005, resulting in a $10,000 fine.
The EAB documents state that it cost the Ministry of Environment $869,550 to remove material from the CPC site in 2005, including chromic acid, formaldehyde, paint-related material, pesticides, and waste oil, oily sludge and oily solids.
Ilnicki, 63, was again charged in 2008 with 52 counts – 17 of failing to retain a qualified expert, 33 of destroying or disposing of hazardous waste at a facility, and two of hazardous waste confinement.
It is not known to what three charges he intends to plead guilty.
The 52 charges relate to alleged offences occurring from December 2005 to August 2007. Three separate properties are involved – 31234 Wheel Ave. and 1717 Foy St. in Abbotsford, and 2790 Gloucester Way in Aldergrove.
Documents filed with the EAB show that Ilnicki was ordered to provide information to the Ministry of Environment in April 2006 about the Wheel Avenue property.
At that time, Ilnicki was operating Valley Demolition Design and Repair. The business was described as one to “demolish, repair, design and rebuild buildings, machinery and equipment.”
The EAB documents state an officer with the ministry found 294 45-gallon drums of materials during an inspection and many of them were flammable, corrosive or unlabelled. Ilnicki was asked to provide detailed information on what was contained in the drums.
He refused, saying the materials were not hazardous, were necessary for his business, and were “no different in scope than any other general contractor warehouse.”
The ministry issued an information order, which required Ilnicki to retain a “third party consultant” to conduct an inventory of the materials, to evaluate whether they were stored in a safe manner and to provide that information to the ministry.
Ilnicki filed an appeal with the EAB.
Meanwhile, in August 2006, the ministry issued a pollution prevention order, further requiring Ilnicki to provide information about the materials he was storing.
He also appealed that matter.
His first appeal was dismissed in November 2006. By that time, Ilnicki had moved to a new property on Foy Street.
The owner of the Wheel Avenue property provided a list of materials he said were removed when Ilnicki left. They included oily rags, waste printing ink, waste flammable liquids (xylene), waste oil and oil filters, and paint-related material.
The second appeal was heard in June 2007. By then, Ilnicki had moved to Gloucester Way. He was working as an electrician, a heavy duty mechanic and ran a meat tray washing business and a home restoration business, according to EAB documents.
He said he required various chemicals for his work and the ministry lacked expertise in knowing how the materials are used. He provided a list of the materials, which included resin, acetone, paint, insulation and driveway sealer. But the EAB said this did not meet the requirement of the order that he hire a consultant to provide the inventory.
Ilnicki’s second appeal was also dismissed.