Companies voluntarily pay for releasing harmful drilling materials
June 11, 2014 - Iqaluit, Nunavut - Environment Canada
Hope Bay Mining Ltd. and Orbit Garant Drilling Inc. have entered into a diversion agreement with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada following an Environment Canada investigation of alleged violations under the Fisheries Act. The companies have each agreed to pay $75,000 for a total voluntary payment of $150,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund. The payment will be directed towards projects in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut.
On July 14, 2011, Environment Canada enforcement officers inspected an Orbit Garant Drilling Inc. drill rig located on the Hope Bay Mining Boston Camp property, near Iqaluktuuttiaq. The rig was in close proximity to a river that connects Stickleback Lake to Spyder Lake. The inspection revealed an ongoing release of drill cuttings, drill mud and brine. Sample analysis and an expert report concluded that the material could be deleterious to fish. There was no evidence of any permanent harm done to any fish.
Charges were laid by Environment Canada in February, 2013.
- The companies will also hold a public meeting on June 11, 2014, in Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay) to discuss the incident with local community members.
- A newspaper notice, drafted by the companies and approved by Environment Canada, will appear in three northern newspapers informing the public of the incident.
- The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment Canada. It was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit our natural environment.
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