Norellco: $185,000 penalty for releasing chlorinated water into the Sturgeon River
November 19, 2014 - St. Albert, Alberta - Environment Canada
Norellco Contractors Ltd. was ordered to pay $185,000 in Alberta Provincial Court on November 6, 2014, after pleading guilty to one count of an offence under the Fisheries Act, related to releases of chlorinated water into the Sturgeon River.
On June 26, 2012, Environment Canada received notification that a contractor performing work in St. Albert had broken a high pressure water main. As a result of this break, approximately 18,000 litres of chlorinated water was discharged into local sewer drains. Those drains lead to the Sturgeon River, which is fish-bearing. Environment Canada enforcement officers subsequently opened an investigation into the incident.
On July 2, 2012, the department was notified of a second break by Norellco Contractors Ltd. to the same water main at a point only metres from the location of the first break. An estimated 16,000 litres of chlorinated water was discharged into the river during this second event. Officers determined that the company failed to follow guidelines set out in the Alberta Occupational Health and Safety Code by using a backhoe within one metre of the pipeline. Subsequent sample analyses confirmed that the chlorinated water discharged during the second release was deleterious to fish.
- The company will also participate in the 2015 Northern Construction Safety Officers Conference to inform attendees about the releases, the causes and how preventative measures can avoid future incidents.
- $180,000 of the total penalty will be credited toward the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) to promote the proper management and protection of fish or fish habitat in Alberta.
- The Sturgeon River is home to a number of fish species, including White Sucker, Northern Pike and Longnose Dace.
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