March 21, 2005

Imperial Oil, former employee charged relating to St Clair R spill

SARNIA, ONT-Imperial Oil and a former employee of the company have been charged under the federal Fisheries Act in connection with the February 2004 spill of ketone solvents from Imperial's Sarnia oil refinery to the St. Clair River. The facility takes water from the St Clair River for use in heat exchangers that cool down chemicals produced at the refinery. An investigation by the Ministry of Environment (MOE) determined that the cooling water became contaminated with a quantity of ketone solvents (a chemical solution) and was discharged to the river. Imperial and the process operator are each charged with depositing a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish, contrary to section 36(3) of the act. The two parties are scheduled to appear in court April 12 in Sarnia.

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