$50,000 penalty for Fisheries Act violation on Watson Island
June 10, 2014 – Prince Rupert, British Columbia – Environment Canada
On June 5, 2014, the City of Prince Rupert pleaded guilty in British Columbia Provincial Court to one count of an offence under the Fisheries Act, related to the release of a deleterious substance into fish-bearing waters. The City was sentenced to pay a $50,000 penalty.
On January 21, 2012, a spill of weak black liquor (a toxic product in the pulp process) from the Watson Island pulp mill site into Porpoise Harbour was reported to Environment Canada. An investigation was launched and samples collected by the department found the substance toxic to rainbow trout.
The $50,000 penalty has been allocated as follows:
- $5,000 is a fine under the Fisheries Act.
- $45,000 is to be used towards the removal of priority chemicals in tanks or piping on the Watson Island property.
- Charges were laid by Environment Canada on December 12, 2013.
- Removal of the identified chemicals from Watson Island is to be completed by December 31, 2015.
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