Death of 7500 migratory birds results in $750,000 penalty to Canaport LNG Limited Partnership
November 24, 2015 - Saint John, New Brunswick
Canaport LNG Limited Partnership was ordered to pay a total penalty of $750,000 on November 5, 2015, in New Brunswick Provincial court after pleading guilty to charges under both the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, and the Species at Risk Act.
Environment Canada’s investigation revealed that on September 13th and 14th, 2013 estimated mortalities in excess of 7,500 birds resulted from direct or indirect contact with burning natural gas from a flare stack operated at the Canaport LNG facility.
Identification of the dead birds revealed that 26 separate species of migratory birds were killed. Four of the dead birds were Canada Warblers, a “threatened species” listed under the Species at Risk Act.
Of the $750,000 penalty, $25,000 will be paid as a fine pursuant to the Species at Risk Act, and $125,000 will be paid to the Environmental Damages Fund for the purpose of promoting the proper management, conservation and protection of migratory birds and their habitat. The remaining $600,000 will be allocated as follows:
- $150,000 to the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John, New Brunswick, for the creation of a DNA database, for the purpose of scientific and educational study using the birds seized from the Canaport LNG Limited Partnership premises;
- $100,000 to Bird Studies Canada, a national charitable organization, to be used for the study of bird migration in the Bay of Fundy region, and for the operation of the Motus Wildlife Tracking System;
- $275,000 to University of New Brunswick, Development and Donor Relations, for the creation of scholarships for students enrolled in the Environment and Natural Resources Degree Program, with a recommendation that the scholarship funds be directed to students with a specialization in wildlife conservation and the study of landbird ecology;
- $75,000 to Nature Canada, a national charitable organization, to be used for the study of the Canada Warbler.
In addition, the company has been ordered to monitor the bird migration forecast for the Bay of Fundy region, on a weekly basis, using the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s regional migration forecast website and to take appropriate actions to mitigate mortality of migrating birds.
- The Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) is administered by Environment and Climate Change 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 projects that will benefit our natural environment.
- Under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, Environment and Climate Change Canada is authorized to protect migratory birds, their nest and populations, and also regulates potentially harmful human activities that may impact on the above.
- The 26 species of migratory birds were all protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994. The Canada Warbler is also protected under the Species at Risk Act.
Migratory Birds Convention Act and Regulations
Species at Risk Public Registry (Canada Warbler)
Environment and Climate Change Canada
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