September 2000

COMPANIES in the news. . .

The City of Calgary in Alberta was fined $1,000 and received a creative sentence worth in excess of $200,000 after pleading guilty to a charge under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. Under the terms of the creative sentence, the city must receive ISO/CD 14001 certification for its Bearspaw and Glenmore water treatment facilities by August 2003, and make a presentation on the incident to the Western Canada Water and Wastewater Association annual meeting in October 2001. The environmental management system certification will ensure the facilities meet ISO's internationally recognized standards for quality, says Alberta Environment. The presentation will review the circumstances leading to the charge, analyze the causes of the release, and distribute a set of standard operating procedures designed to prevent similar releases from occurring at the facilities in future, says Alberta Environment. On March 24, 1998, the ventilation system of the Bearspaw water treatment plant was operating inappropriately and allowed approximately 160 kilograms of chlorine gas to escape into the atmosphere. The incident did not affect the environment or human health. "The fact that we do not believe this incident affected the environment or human health does not make it any less serious. It had the potential to do so, and our legislation on that is straightforward. If you release a substance that could potentially harm the environment, you can expect us to take enforcement action," said Environment Minister Halvar Jonson. For more information, call David Dear, Communications Division, Alberta Environment, at (780) 427-8636.

La Société d'électrolyse et de chimie Alcan ltée in Jonquière, Quebec, was fined a total of $40,000 after pleading guilty to charges under the province's Environment Quality Act. On July 18, 1997 and July 22, 1997, the company failed to advise the environment minister without delay that it was responsible for the accidental presence of a contaminant in the environment, contrary to section 21 of the Act. On September 11, 1997, the company discharged contaminated water the presence of which in the environment is likely to affect the life, health, safety, welfare or comfort of human beings, or to cause damage to or otherwise impair the quality of the soil, vegetation, wildlife or property, contrary to section 20 of the Act. For more information, call Réjean Goudreault, at (418) 695-7883, ext. 302.

S.D. Enviropro inc. in Montreal, Quebec, was fined a total of $13,600 for charges under the province's Environment Quality Act. On four separate occasions, between July 15, 1997 and December 18, 1997, the company failed to comply with a condition of its certificate of authorization, contrary to section 123.1 of the Act. For more information, call Hélène Ross, at (514) 873-3636, ext. 245.

St-Hubert Fer et Métaux inc. in Saint-Hubert, Quebec, was fined $3,000 for contravening the province's Hazardous Materials Regulation. On June 2, 1998, the company stored used batteries not in vessels outside a building, contrary to section 40 of the regulation. For more information, call Marielle Marchand, at (514) 928-7607, ext. 223.

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