Mining company must pay penalty for Fisheries Act violations at Wabush Mines

December 20, 2016 - Wabush, Newfoundland and Labrador - Environment and Climate Change Canada

On December 16, 2016, Wabush Mines pleaded guilty, in the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, to two offences under the Fisheries Act in violation of the Metal Mining Effluent Regulations. The offences took place in May 2015. Following an investigation by enforcement officers the company was charged with violations of subsections 14(1) and 24(1), including failing to perform acute-lethality sampling (of effluent) and failing to notify an inspector following a deposit out of the normal course of events.

The Court ordered the company to pay a total penalty of $30,000, of which $25,000 will be directed to the federal Environmental Damages Fund (EDF). As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.

Quick facts

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the pollution-prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, which prohibit the deposit of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish.
  • The Metal Mining Effluent Regulations impose limits on concentrations of specific deleterious substances in the effluent released from mining operations and sets out measures to be taken if these concentrations are exceeded. This is why regular testing and reporting is required under the regulations.
  • Created in 1995, the EDF is a Government of Canada program administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The Fund follows the “polluter pays” principle and ensures that court-awarded penalties are used for projects with positive environmental impacts.


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