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Ontario government asks public to report pollution online through website

Ontario residents can now report suspected pollution online through a new tool run by the provincial government.

The province says the new website allows users to upload photos, videos and audio clips to help staff assess the situation.

It says users can report any incidents of pollution they come across, including oil or chemical spills, industrial or commercial noise pollution, or improper disposal of commercial waste.

The government says users have the option to create a secure login to receive updates on how the report is being handled.

However, it says urgent environmental issues should be reported by phone through the province’s 24-hour hotline.

Those who are the owners of pollutants involved in a spill are also legally required to report the incident by phone to the Spills Action Centre.

The new online tool was one of the initiatives promised in the governing Progressive Conservatives’ environmental plan announced in 2018.

Environment Minister Jeff Yurek says it will help improve public reporting of pollution as well as ministry response times.

“Our government takes environmental violations very seriously and has zero tolerance for illegal polluters – and we know the people of Ontario are eager to do their part to protect our environment,” he said in a statement.

“With your help, we can hold polluters accountable and ensure compliance with the environmental laws we have in place to protect our air, land and water for generations to come.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2021.

The Canadian Press