Town of Trenton fined $100,000 for violating the Fisheries Act in Nova Scotia

February 16, 2024 – Pictou, Nova Scotia – Environment and Climate Change Canada

On February 15, 2024, the Town of Trenton was ordered to pay a total of $100,000, after pleading guilty to one count of violating the Fisheries Act at the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia in Pictou County. The total fine will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund. In addition to the sentence, the court also issued an order with a number of conditions to be met within 18 months. Some of the conditions include: training on the Fisheries Act and its requirements; training on proper effluent sampling protocols for Town of Trenton employees and contractors; completing routine sampling; and publishing emergency contact information and information about the incident and sentencing on the Town of Trenton website.

The charge stemmed from an Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement investigation, which determined that raw sewage was discharged into Lowden Brook between June 1, 2019, and January 4, 2020. Lowden Brook is a tributary to the East River that supports populations of Speckled Trout, Brown Trout, and Atlantic Salmon.

On November 13, 2019, Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers received a complaint of a strong sewage smell around Lowden Brook along North Main Street in Trenton, Nova Scotia. When officers conducted an on-site inspection, they located an outfall that was releasing what appeared to be raw sewage into the brook. It was determined that the outfall was connected to the Town of Trenton’s municipal infrastructure. Officers collected samples from the outfall and at the entry point into Lowden Brook for chemistry, microbiology, and toxicology analysis.

After lab results determined that there were high levels of E. coli at the outfall and the culvert, and that the effluent was toxic to fish, on December 20, 2019, officers issued a Fisheries Act written Direction to the Town of Trenton. The Direction required the town to develop a plan to stop the deposit of the deleterious substance and provide regular monitoring reports until the deposit was stopped. The deposit ceased on January 3, 2020.

Because of this conviction, the Town of Trenton will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. The Registry contains information on convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws.

Quick facts

Environment and Climate Change Canada has created a free subscription service to help Canadians stay current with what the Government of Canada is doing to protect our natural environment.


Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Page details

Date modified: