The industry is booming, but some people are worried the industry may be on the verge of collapse.
“This is a very important industry that’s very important to the communities of Ontario, but it’s really important for the province of Ontario to be able to protect the environment,” said Maryam Mazam, the executive director of the Ontario Environment Agency.
The province is currently working on a new law to regulate the industry.
“We’re working on ways to protect it, protect its people, protect the jobs, protect communities,” she said.
In a letter to the provincial government, Mazam urged the government to “take immediate action” to protect industries and workers.
“There is not enough time to do that right now,” she added.
“If we don’t do that, it could be a really long time.”
The Ontario Environment Act stipulates that companies operating in Ontario must ensure that all wastewater from industrial grease traps is properly disposed of and is made available for reuse in other facilities.
The act also sets out minimum standards for the disposal of grease traps in industrial areas and provides for the enforcement of those standards.
Under the legislation, companies that knowingly violate the act could face fines up to $2,000 per day, up to a $5,000 maximum fine and up to six months in jail.
“The only way to protect this industry and people’s health and safety is to make sure they are safe,” said Mazam.
“It’s very difficult for companies to be proactive, because we have to be constantly watching and monitoring.”
She also called for a review of the act to ensure that it is being enforced.
“Our job is to protect our health and the health of people, so that they are protected,” she told CBC News.
“But we have got to be vigilant and keep looking.”
Mazam is a registered dietitian and is also the chair of the Canadian Food Safety Authority.
The agency has been studying the industry and the chemicals used in grease trap industry.
It is currently investigating a number of complaints and is working with other government departments, she said, adding that the agency’s investigation is ongoing.
In 2016, the agency found two of the companies in question were operating illegally in Ontario.
It also found that the companies had not properly implemented and complied with the regulations that apply to their operations.
“Some of these companies are operating in a very unhealthy environment,” Mazam said.
“They’re not doing the things that they should be doing to protect their workers and to protect other people’s environments.”