Nexen Energy ULC ordered to pay $290,000 fine for a violation of the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994

Fort McMurray, Alberta – July 13, 2018 – Environment and Climate Change Canada

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) takes its enforcement role very seriously and its enforcement officers strive to ensure that businesses and individuals comply with the ECCC-administered laws and regulations that protect Canada’s natural environment.

On July 13, 2018, Nexen Energy ULC was ordered to pay a total penalty of $290,000 in the Provincial Court of Alberta, after pleading guilty to one charge under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994.  The penalty will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund for the purposes of protecting, conserving and restoring the environment in relation to migratory birds in northeastern Alberta.

On July 15, 2015, a pipeline break occurred at the Nexen Energy ULC Long Lake facility located near Anzac, Alberta. The break released approximately 5000 cubic metres of emulsion product, consisting of bitumen, water and sand, into the environment. An Environment and Climate Change Canada investigation revealed that these substances are harmful to migratory birds and that the spill occurred in an area frequented by migratory birds. 

In addition to the penalties under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, Nexen Energy ULC has pleaded guilty to charges under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. For further information related to the provincial charges, please contact the Alberta Energy Regulator via

Quick Facts

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for administering and enforcing the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994, which aims to protect and conserve migratory bird populations as well as individual birds and their nests. The Act prohibits the deposit of harmful substances into areas frequented by migratory birds and other human activities that are potentially harmful to migratory birds.
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) enforces federal wildlife legislation that protects plant and animal species throughout Canada. ECCC works in collaboration with other federal departments, provincial and territorial governments, and international agencies and organizations.
  • The Environmental Damages Fund 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 environment.

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