October 11, 2004

District of Kitimat levied $76K for fish habitat destruction, raw sewage spill

TERRACE, BC-The District of Kitimat has been levied $76,000 in penalties and remediation and assessment costs in connection with two incidents, one involving the destruction of fish habitat and another involving a large spill of raw sewage into a highly productive river. One incident, investigated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), occurred in October 2002 when the District destroyed approximately 350 metres of riverbank and streambed in Sumgas Creek, a tributary of the Kitimat River. This occurred during work intended to improve drainage. The other incident, investigated by DFO and Environment Canada, involved a discharge of approximately 576,000 litres of raw sewage to the Kitimat River and Sumgas Creek in February 2001. The Kitimat River is an extremely important fish habitat, supporting six species of salmon as well as several other types of fish. The District of Kitimat acknowledged its responsibility for both incidents and was convicted under the Fisheries Act. Of the total penalty, $60,000 will be directed to DFO and Environment Canada for projects designed to conserve and protect fish and fish habitat in the Kitimat watershed.
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