Canadian Manufacturing

Teck Metals hit with $210K in fines for toxic spill in B.C. river

Company fined after March 2011 release of sodium hydroxide in Columbia River in Trail, B.C.

ROSSLAND, B.C.—A British Columbia court has levied $210,000 in fines against a local zinc producer after hundreds of thousands of litres of toxic material was discharged in a river in that province.

According to the Environment Canada, Teck Metals Ltd. was sentenced to pay a total of $210,000 related to the March 2011 release of sodium hydroxide in the Columbia River in Trail, B.C.

The toxic release occurred following the disposal of a 50 per cent sodium hydroxide solution into the plant’s effluent stream, the ministry said.

The discharge was not reported to Environment Canada and the Provincial Emergency Program until several days after the incident.

Teck Metals was fined for two offences, including a $5,000 fine under the Fisheries Act and a $5,000 fine under the Environment Management Act.

It was also order to pay $100,000 to both the Environmental Damages Fund and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq released a statement following the announcement of the fines commending enforcement officers for their work on the investigation.

“I offer my sincere thanks to the men and women in uniform who devote themselves on a daily basis to enforcing our wildlife and environmental laws,” the minister said.

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