Canadian Kraft Paper Industries fined $1M for unlawful deposit of effluent into the Saskatchewan River
December 29, 2023 By PrintAction Staff
Canadian Kraft Paper Industries has been ordered to pay a $1 million fine after pleading guilty at the Provincial Court of Manitoba to one charge under the federal Fisheries Act, one of the largest environmental fines in Manitoba history. The charges stemmed from a February 2019 pipe leak at Canadian Kraft Paper Industries’ pulp and paper mill in the Pas, Man. The leak resulted in the release of 23,000 L of black liquor, a by-product of the manufacturing process, into Canadian Kraft Paper Industries’ mill effluent treatment system. Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers responded and collected samples. Through a subsequent investigation, they determined that over the course of six days, close to 181 million L of acutely lethal effluent had been released from the effluent treatment system into the Saskatchewan River.
The deposit of acutely lethal effluent into fish-bearing waters violates a condition of the authorization to deposit effluent that is set out in subsection 6(5) of the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations and is a contravention of subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act.
In addition to the fine, Canadian Kraft Paper Industries has also been ordered by the Court to conduct an independent environmental audit within 12 months of sentencing to review its operations and make recommendations regarding the implementation of best available technology and best practices to prevent future deleterious deposits. A report identifying the recommendations and actions the company will take to address them will be provided to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
The fine will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund and used to support projects that have a positive impact on the environment.
As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. The Registry contains information on convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws.
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