Environment & Sustainability
Water & Chemicals
Canadian Kraft Paper fined $1M for 2019 effluent release in Saskatchewan River
December 19, 2023 By P&PC Staff
The Government of Canada is fining Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Limited for a 2019 pipe leak from the company’s pulp and paper mill in The Pas, Manitoba. The company has been ordered to pay a $1 million fine after pleading guilty at the Provincial Court of Manitoba to one charge under the federal Fisheries Act. The Government of Canada notes in a press statement that this is one of the largest environmental fines in Manitoba history.
A pipe leak in 2019 reportedly resulted in the release of 23,000 litres of black liquor, a by-product of the manufacturing process, into Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Limited’s mill effluent treatment system. Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers responded and collected samples. Through a subsequent investigation, they determined that over the course of six days, close to 181 million litres of acutely lethal effluent had been released from the effluent treatment system into the Saskatchewan River.
The deposit of acutely lethal effluent into fish-bearing waters violates a condition of the authorization to deposit effluent that is set out in subsection 6(5) of the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations and is a contravention of subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act, according to the press statement.
In addition to the fine, Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Limited has also been ordered by the Court to conduct an independent environmental audit within 12 months of sentencing to review its operations and make recommendations regarding the implementation of best available technology and best practices to prevent future deleterious deposits. A report identifying the recommendations and actions the company will take to address them will be provided to Environment and Climate Change Canada.
The fine will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund and used to support projects that have a positive impact on the environment.
As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will reportedly be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.
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