Petroleum company sentenced for offences under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994

January 24, 2018 – Fort St. John, British Columbia

The effective and strict enforcement of Canadian environmental and wildlife legislation is one way Environment and Climate Change Canada meets its commitments to maintaining clean air and water as well as protecting wildlife and their habitats.

Following a guilty plea on May 31, 2017, Painted Pony Energy Ltd. (formerly Painted Pony Petroleum Ltd.) was sentenced in the Provincial Court of British Columbia, on December 22, 2017, for depositing a substance harmful to migratory birds, in an area frequented by migratory birds. The court ordered the company to pay a total penalty of $235,000 to be dispersed as follows:

  • $5,000 to the Environmental Damages Fund;
  • $115,000 to Ducks Unlimited Canada;
  • $57,500 to the MacKenzie Nature Observatory; and,
  • $57,500 to the Oiled Wildlife Society of British Columbia.

An investigation by Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers revealed that, between March and April 2013, 14 deceased migratory birds were observed on the surface of an above-ground containment tank located north of Fort St. John, British Columbia. At the time of the offence, Painted Pony Energy Ltd. operated fracking sites that included open storage tanks to accommodate fluids used during the fracking process.

Following the incident, company employees installed deterrent measures at the containment tank in an effort to prevent additional migratory birds from being attracted to and trapped in the tanks.

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 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 provides the authority to regulate hunting and other human activities that are potentially harmful to migratory bird populations or individual birds.
  • Enforcement officers are committed to advancing the goal of regulatory compliance and specifically, where warranted, taking action to enforce compliance with federal laws aimed at protecting wildlife species and their habitats. Unlawful activities can be reported to the National Environmental Emergencies Centre, at 514-283-2333 or 1-866-283-2333.

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