August 7-14, 2006

Canadian Horizontal Drilling charged for failing to comply with federal Fisheries Act order

EDMONTON, ALTA-Canadian Horizontal Drilling (CHD), of Wetaskiwin, Alberta, has been charged with failing to comply with a court order issued under the federal Fisheries Act, contrary to section 79.6 of the Act. The new charge relates back to the company's original conviction and sentence in March 2004. At that time, CHD pleaded guilty to violating subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act in connection with a release of drilling mud (a substance harmful to fish and to fish habitat) into Gunderson Creek, a spawning ground for bull trout. The incident occurred in December 2000 while CDH was installing a pipeline under the creek for another firm, Anderson Exploration. In addition to a $25,000 penalty, CDH was ordered to comply with voluntary industry guidelines for horizontal directional drilling which minimize the environmental impact of these activities. The court order further required the company to publish an article relating directly to the original December 2000 offence by the end of September 2004, in a publication widely available to the horizontal drilling industry in Alberta. The new charge alleges that CDH has failed to publish the article.

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