Tuesday, June 10, 2014

City of Prince Rupert to pay $50,000 penalty for Fisheries Act violation on Watson Island

It would seem that Prince Rupert's problems with Watson Island continue to make legal news, and not in a good way.

This time after the City entered a guilty plea in British Columbia court to one count of an offence under the Fisheries Act.

The case involved the release of a deleterious substance into fish bearing waters on January 21st, 2011. At that time a spill of weak black liquor (a toxic product once used in the pulp process) was released into Porpoise Harbour from the Watson Island pulp mill site.

That release was reported to Environment Canada, which conducted a investigation into the incident, collecting samples of the substance for evaluation.

Following the investigation, it was determined by Environment Canada that the substance was toxic to rainbow trout.

The charges were laid by Environment Canada on December 12, 2013, the City made their appearance in British Columbia Provincial Court on June 5th, 2014, where their guilty plea was recorded.

A fifty thousand dollar penalty has been assessed on the City of Prince Rupert.

5,000 dollars is a fine under the Fisheries Act, with 45,000 dollars to be used towards the removal of priority chemicals in tanks or piping on the Watson Island property.

The removal of those chemicals from Watson Island is to be completed by December 31, 2015.

You can review the announcement from Environment Canada here.

As of Tuesday evening, no mention of the penalty had been posted to the City's information portal.

For more on past developments regarding Watson Island see our Archive page.

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