TRAIL, BC, May 13 /CNW/ - Teck Metals Ltd. has agreed to pay $325,000
for depositing mercury into the Columbia River, and allowing a leachate
to overflow into Stoney Creek. This action is in response to two
chemical spills that took place in 2010.
Of the total amount being paid, $100,000 will go to the Environmental
Damages Fund (EDF). This fund was created in 1995 as a means to direct
monetary penalties and settlements toward the repair of the actual harm
done to the environment. The designated funds will be applied to
projects that will improve water quality monitoring or protect, enhance
or restore fish habitats in the lower Columbia River.
The remaining funds will be designated to support a variety of community
On Sept. 13, 2010, Environment Canada was notified that contaminated
groundwater from the Teck Metals Ltd. facility was leaking into Stoney
Creek, which flows directly into the Columbia River. On Oct. 7, 2010,
Environment Canada was notified of a mercury spill into the Columbia
River from one of the outfalls from the Teck Metals Ltd. facility.
Investigations revealed that potential violations under the Fisheries Act had taken place during these instances.
Environment Canada's enforcement officers and the B.C. Ministry of
Environment's Commercial Environmental Investigations Unit collaborated
on a joint investigation into these spills. In consultation with Teck
Metals Ltd., a decision was made to pursue an alternative measure known
as a Community Justice Forum.
During the Forum, which was held May 10-11, 2011, Teck Metals Ltd. also
agreed to implement various measures to better protect the environment,
including reviewing plans, increasing inspections and monitoring and
restricting site access.
A Community Justice Forum brings an offender, victim(s) and their
respective stakeholders together with a trained facilitator to discuss
an offence and its effects. Jointly, the group decides how to resolve
the situation. A similar program of alternative measures is recognized
under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, and the Species at Risk Act as an authorized option for dealing with violations.
This is the first time Environment Canada has used the Community Justice
Forum process in an enforcement matter. As a result, Environment Canada
has had direct input into changes within Teck Metals Ltd. that will
reduce the risk of similar spills in the future.
SOURCE Environment Canada
For further information:
| Media Relations |
| Marko Goluza |
(Également offert en français)