August 21, 2018 – CBC News is reporting that J.D. Irving Ltd. and the Crown have come to a resolution in a case that had J.D. Irving charged with 15 offences under the federal Fisheries Act due to alleged pollution from its pulp mill in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Few details are available about the agreement, which was reached during a pre-trial conference on August 20. The Crown has indicated there will be a reduction in the number of charges. Each of the charges has a minimum fine of $200,000 for a large corporation with a previous conviction (J.D. Irving Ltd. was last convicted on pollution charges in 2007, for dumping black and green liquor into the river).
Early last year, J.D. Irving Ltd. pleaded not guilty to all charges alleging that its Irving Pulp and Paper mill at Reversing Falls had dumped a “deleterious” substance into the St. John River for two years starting in June 2014. The Fisheries Act defines “deleterious” as something, like altered water, that could be toxic to fish, their habitats or the humans that may eat the fish. The nature of the substance has not been made public.
At the time, an Irving spokesperson said the charges came from self-reported fish mortality rates in a lab, and not incidents that resulted in actual environmental damage.
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