SemCAMS ULC Pleads Guilty and is Ordered to Pay $350,000 for Release of Industrial Wastewater from Ruptured Pipeline
EDMONTON, AB - December 27, 2013 - SemCAMS ULC was ordered to pay $350,000 on December 23, 2013, in Alberta Provincial Court after pleading guilty to one count under the Fisheries Act and one count under provincial environmental legislation. The charges relate to a release of 852,000 litres of industrial wastewater from a ruptured pipeline near Fox Creek, Alberta.
On August 10, 2010, Environment Canada responded to a report concerning the release of industrial wastewater into muskeg and a small unnamed creek. During the response, hundreds of dead fish were discovered in the creek downstream of the spill. A joint investigation into the release was conducted by Environment Canada and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development. The wastewater had been generated from the processing of natural gas and liquid hydrocarbons at the SemCAMS ULC facility, and was being transported by an underground pipeline when the pipeline ruptured. Sample analysis determined the wastewater was harmful to fish.
For the count relating to the Fisheries Act (depositing a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish), SemCAMS ULC is required to pay a federal penalty of $200,000. Of this penalty:
- $185,000 is to be paid into the Environmental Damages Fund; and
- $15,000 is a fine to be paid to the court.
The remaining $150,000 of the total penalty relates to the provincial offence.
The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment Canada to direct funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to projects that will benefit our natural environment.
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