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Teck Metals Ltd. to pay $3 million penalty for polluting the Columbia River
March 4, 2016 – Rossland, British Columbia – Environment and Climate Change Canada
Teck Metals Ltd. was ordered to pay a $3,000,000 penalty on February 29, 2016, in British Columbia Provincial Court after pleading guilty to three offences under the Fisheries Act related to releases of effluent deleterious to fish into the Columbia River.
In addition to the penalty, Teck Metals Ltd. agreed to undertake on-site improvement projects. The company estimates that these projects, which are intended to prevent future incidents, will cost the company $50,000,000 to implement.
Environment and Climate Change Canada investigated multiple incidents resulting in the discharge of approximately 125 million litres of effluent from Teck Metals Ltd. into the Columbia River between November 28, 2013, and February 5, 2015.
The $3,000,000 penalty will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) for fish habitat and fisheries restoration projects in the Kootenay River or Columbia River watersheds. Funds from the EDF are disbursed in the geographic region (local area, region, province or territory) where the incident occurred. Priority is given to restoration projects that address the damage caused by the original incident.
As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.
- “Effluent deleterious to fish” is a liquid that is released from the facility that would degrade or alter the quality of water making it harmful to fish.
- This court case involves numerous deleterious effluent discharges over the specified period. Depending on the specific incident, the effluent contained elevated copper, cadmium, chlorine, or pH and ammonia; they were present in concentrations that were harmful to fish.
- The EDF is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to projects that will benefit our natural environment.
- The Environmental Offenders Registry contains information on convictions of corporations obtained under environmental legislation enforced by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Parks Canada Agency, for offences committed since June 18, 2009—when the Environmental Enforcement Act received Royal Assent. This tool allows the media and the public to search for corporate convictions using the name of the corporation, its home province, the province where the offence occurred, or the legislation under which the conviction was obtained.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has created a subscription service to help the Canadians stay current with what the Government of Canada is doing to protect our natural environment. Subscribing to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Enforcement Notifications is easy, and free. Sign up today.
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
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Hon. Catherine McKenna Environment and Climate Change Canada Nature and Environment
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