Saturday, June 15, 2024

British Columbia | A record 60 million fine for polluting waterways

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Maria Gill
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The mining company Teck Coal will face a record $ 60 million fine for dumping pollutants in two rivers in British Columbia.

Eric Pierre ChampaignEric Pierre Champaign

The company was sentenced on Friday after pleading guilty to two counts of unlawfully throwing a harmful substance into the waters that fish frequented.

The $ 60 million fine is the highest fine ever imposed by a Canadian court for violating federal fisheries law.

The harmful substances were found in the Fording and Elk Rivers in southern British Columbia, between January and December 2012.

In the years that followed, one species of trout disappeared from the River Fording.

PHOTO JEFF MCINTOSH, Canadian Press Archive

Trout almost vanished in River Fording.

In particular, an investigation by the Department of the Environment has established that Teck Coal has not taken all necessary measures consistent with public safety and the preservation of fish and their habitats, as required by law on peaches.

Teck Coal operates coal mines, the extraction of which releases selenium, an element that can be toxic to wildlife and humans. Analyzes showed a high concentration of selenium in fish.

In 2012, the company was found guilty of polluting the Columbia River in Washington state. The mine drained zinc sewage for 100 years, between 1896 and 1995. He was also found guilty by a British Columbia District Court in this matter.

Of the $ 60 million donated by Teck Coal, the $ 58 will go to Canada’s Environmental Damage Fund.

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