April 18, 2014 - 9:45 AM
PENTICTON — Two men and a local construction company were acquitted of pollution charges today.
Penticton Provincial Court Judge Meg Shaw said she wasn't satisfied with evidence against Eneas Kruger, Doug Cotter and Cotter's business, each charged with one count of introducing waste into the environment. B.C. Conservation officers took video of the work site between April 17 and 29, 2011 showing material loaded onto Kruger's property.
Shaw said the video and photo evidence was inconclusive: It showed construction material and smoke, but it wasn't clear if the construction material was burning.
Doug Cotter said the material being off-loaded was all wood and metal already approved for off-site removal by the Workers’ Compensation Board. He said the Ministry of Environment authorized him to sell debris to Kruger's salvage yard on Penticton Indian Band land. He said his crew spent two months sorting it to ensure the hazardous materials were separated from the rest.
“It was all a waste of time,” said Doug Cotter.
Shaw said band officials have been working with Kruger to ensure he is following their rules for open burning and environmental hazards.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014