Spill results in $125,000 penalty for Canadian Natural Resources Limited
March 18, 2015 – Edmonton, Alberta
Canadian Natural Resources Limited was sentenced to pay $125,000 on March 13, 2015, in Alberta Provincial Court after pleading guilty to an offence under the Fisheries Act, related to the release of a substance harmful to fish into fish-bearing waters.
The offence stems from a crude oil spill from an emergency overflow tankon May 23, 2010, at a Canadian Natural Resources Limited site near the town of Spirit River. In total, an estimated 6,000 litres of crude oil was released, of which approximately 750 litres entered Sneddon Creek, a tributary to the Peace River.
Environment Canada enforcement officers attended the scene and initiated an investigation, which concluded that the spill was caused by valves that were left open. The company also failed to ensure that operational procedures were followed.
Of the $125,000 penalty, $113,000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF). The remaining $12,000 will be paid as a fine. The EDF is administered by Environment 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.
As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offender’s Registry.
- The Environmental Offenders Registry contains information on convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws. The Registry contains convictions recorded for offences committed since June 18, 2009--when the Environmental Enforcement Act received Royal Assent.
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