Vale Newfoundland and Labrador to pay $30K for Fisheries Act violation

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador - August 25, 2016 - Environment and Climate Change Canada

On August 23rd in St. John’s provincial court, a judge ordered Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Limited to pay $30K in penalties after the company pleaded guilty to a violation of the federal Fisheries Act. The violation relates to a March 2013 incident where untreated and acutely lethal effluent was discharged from the Voisey’s Bay mine into the Anaktalak Bay. Of the total penalty, $25K will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.

As a result of this conviction, Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Limited will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. The registry contains the names of corporations convicted of offences under certain federal environmental laws.

Quick facts

  • Treated process water from the mill located at the Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Limited Voisey’s Bay mine, is pumped through a pipeline that is approximately 10 km long and is discharged into Edwards Cove in Anaktalak Bay.
  • On March 27, 2013, Vale notified Environment and Climate Change Canada that untreated effluent had been released from Vale’s Voisey’s Bay mine into Anaktalak Bay. ECCC enforcement officers subsequently completed an investigation, determined the effluent was acutely lethal and charged Vale in October 2014.
  • Created in 1995, the Environmental Damages Fund follows the “Polluter Pays Principle” and helps ensure that polluters take responsibility for their actions. The fund provides a mechanism to direct pollution-related fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit the environment.


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