March 28, 2005

Akzo Nobel Chemicals guilty of Fisheries Act violation for chemical spill

SASKATOON, SASK-Akzo Nobel Chemicals last week pleaded guilty to one charge of violating subsection 36(3) of the federal Fisheries Act and was sentenced to a total penalty of $80,000, including a $10,000 fine and a payment of $70,000 to Environment Canada's Environmental Damages Fund. The department charged the company in connection with an August 2002 spill of more than 1,400 litres of Redicote C-2914, a compound used in the application of asphalt, into the effluent system at Akzo Nobel's Saskatoon plant. The substance was later discharged to the South Saskatchewan River. The spill was caused by the unsupervised loading of a truck at the Saskatoon plant. The payment to the Environmental Damages Fund will be used for research, studies, habitat or fisheries enhancement work along the South Saskatchewan River. An additional charge against former plant manager Grant Flory was stayed. The company was also issued a court order requiring Akzo Nobel to improve its material safety data sheets and employee training for Redicote C-2914, and to share this information with other Akzo plants. In addition, Akzo Nobel is expected to spend approximately $1.4 million on its effluent system in order to comply with an inspector's direction issued by Environment Canada under the Fisheries Act. The deadline for compliance is June 30, 2005.

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