May 24, 2004

Cavendish Farms pleads guilty to Fisheries Act charge, pays $30K penalty

SUMMERSIDE, PEI-Cavendish Farms, a division of Irving Pulp and Paper, was ordered to pay penalties totalling $30,000 after the firm pleaded guilty to a charge under the federal Fisheries Act. A second charge, against Cavendish Farms' operations manager, was dropped. The charge related to an incident in May 2002 when Cavendish Farms allowed potato leachate from an organic waste disposal site (rock pit) it operated on near New Annan, PEI, to enter a brook flowing into the Barbara Weit River. The release violated subsection 36(3) of the act which makes it an offence to deposit, or permit the deposition of, a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish. The conviction followed an investigation by Environment Canada's Atlantic region office, with assistance from the PEI Department of Environment and Energy and the Summerside office of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The court-ordered penalty includes a fine of $10,000 and a payment of $20,000 to the federal government's Environmental Damages Fund, administered by Environment Canada. More information is available from Gary Greene of Environment Canada, Atlantic Region, 902/426-6619.

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