Discuss the issue of responsibility for the cleanup costs, as well as liability under the provincial environmental-protection legislation. Wilbur operated a farm on the outskirts of a small rural village. His farm was located near the water reservoir that supplied drinking water to the small community. Wilbur’s farm was divided by a township gravel road that he used to travel to and from his crop fields. A small stream that fed the village water reservoir also crossed his farm property and the road that separated Wilbur’s fields. The bridge over the stream was in poor repair, and in spite of requests by Wilbur to have the bridge repaired, the municipality did nothing. One day, while Wilbur was transporting his tank sprayer to his fields, the bridge collapsed, and Wilbur, his tractor, and tank sprayer fell into the stream. Wilbur was killed in the accident, and the tank sprayer ruptured, sending 3,000 litres of a potent carcinogenic weed killer into the stream. 50 litres of diesel fuel from the fuel tank of the tractor also leaked into the stream. The village was immediately alerted concerning the contamination of their drinking water supply, and the clean-up was done under the direction of provincial authorities. Bottled water was supplied to the village, as was an expensive cleansing of the water reservoir. Eventually, the contamination was eliminated. Discuss the issue of responsibility for the cleanup costs, as well as liability under the provincial environmental-protection legislation.
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