November 8, 2004

North Battleford levied $80K in penalties after treatment plant spills

NORTH BATTLEFORD, SASK-Penalties totalling $80,000 were levied against North Battleford last week after the city pleaded guilty to violating the federal Fisheries Act. The city has also been ordered to have its new wastewater treatment plant in operation by November 30, 2005, or face a $25,000 fine for every subsequent month that the plant is not in operation. Environment Canada charged the city under subsection 36(3) of the act following an investigation into sewage spills at the North Battleford wastewater treatment plant in January, February and June of 2003. Effluent samples obtained during a July 29, 2003 search and seizure at the treatment plant were found to be deleterious to fish. The penalty includes a $10,000 fine, an additional $20,000 to reimburse Environment Canada for costs related to the case, and $50,000 to be paid to the Environmental Damages Fund. The fund, administered by Environment Canada, is rooted in the "polluter pays" principle, and provides courts a means to ensure that financial penalties are invested to repair environmental damages. More information is available from Rod Slatnik of Environment Canada, 306/780-6465.
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