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January 22, 2015
 
 

Company Fined $7.5m - Largest Penalty in Canada - Following Breach of Tailings Pond Dam and Other Fisheries Act Infractions

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Bloom Lake General Partner Limited was ordered to pay $7.5 million in the Criminal and Penal Division of the Court of Quebec in Montreal, December 19, 2014, after pleading guilty to 45 charges under the Fisheries Act, resulting from several incidents including the breach of a tailings pond dam.

The charges respond to infractions at the Bloom Lake mine site including releases of non-compliant mining effluent and of ferric sulfate into fish-bearing water, and failure to comply with an Inspector's Direction.

The sentence of $7.5 million is the largest penalty ever imposed for environmental infractions in Canada. Of the $7.5 million, $6.83 million will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF), representing the largest ever financial contribution to the fund.

The size of the fine is interesting for our industry, since both water and wastewater plants are vulnerable to prosecution under the Fisheries Act in some circumstances, and in fact several members have been charged under the Act. CWWA plans to conduct an information gathering project to track charges and outcomes of prosecutions this year.

 

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