West Fraser hit with environmental charges in Alberta
The pulp mill operator faces six charges after the release of a substance in September 2014 that allegedly wasn't immediately reported
HINTON, Alta.—The Alberta government has charged a pulp mill with several offences under the Environmental Protection Act.
West Fraser Mills in Hinton, Alta., faces a total of six charges after the release of a substance in September 2014 that allegedly wasn’t immediately reported to Alberta Environment.
The company also faces one charge of failing to follow safety rules while unloading a chemical from a truck.
James Gorman, vice president of external and government relations at West Fraser, said in a statement that the company did notify authorities of an incident after a material was delivered to the wrong location at the mill site.
“As soon as this was discovered, our employees reacted immediately to remedy the situation and notified the appropriate agencies,” said Gorman.
He said the company takes safety and environmental responsibilities very seriously, and West Fraser reviewed, corrected and improved its material handling activities following the incident.
Both the company and officials with Alberta Environment declined to provide further details about the incident, including which substance was released, because the issue is before the courts.
West Fraser’s first court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 19 in Hinton.
The company calls itself one of North America’s largest lumber companies with 40 mills across Western Canada and the southern United States.