September 25, 2006

Imperial to pay $200K in connection with spill under creative sentence terms

FORT SASKATCHEWAN, ALTA-Imperial Oil has been levied a total penalty of $200,000 penalty in connection with a February 2004 release of between 100 and 400 litres of untreated wastewater into the North Saskatchewan River from its after Strathcona refinery. The company pleaded guilty to bypassing its water treatment system, which resulted in the release to the river. A charge was subsequently laid under Alberta's Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The maximum fine for the incident is $500,000, but the penalty was lowered in view of the accidental nature of the infraction, Imperial's quick response to the leak and the company's early guilty plea. Under a creative sentencing agreement with Alberta Environment, Imperial will pay a $20,000 fine and donate $180,000 to three environmental groups whose work supports the North Saskatchewan River. Of the donations, $120,000 will go to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton, $30,000 will be given to Alberta Ecotrust and $30,000 to RiverWatch Science.

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