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Twin Rivers fined $320,000 for spill of condensate


 Twin Rivers Paper Company was fined $320,000 on December 18 in New Brunswick Provincial court after pleading guilty to offences under the Fisheries Act related to a spill of evaporator condensate from its mill in Edmundston, N.B.

On September 6, 2013, Twin Rivers Paper notified Environment and Climate Change Canada of a spill of evaporator condensate into the Madawaska River. Evaporator condensate is a by-product of the mill process and is deleterious to fish.

During the investigation, the mill reported two more deposits on March 3 and March 10, 2014, of effluent acutely lethal to fish into the Saint John River.

The investigation determined that in 2013, the overflow tank of evaporator condensate was blocked in order to prepare for the mill’s annual shutdown. This contributed to the spill into the Madawaska River. The deposits in 2014 occurred during dredging activities at the mill’s secondary effluent treatment lagoon located in Saint-Basile, N.B.

Twin Rivers’ pulp and energy operations at Edmundston deliver bleached softwood sulphite and bleached groundwood pulp to the company’s Madawaska paper mill in Maine for the manufacture of specialized packaging, label and publishing papers. At the Edmundston site, a large 38-MW biomass cogeneration plant produces electricity that is sold to New Brunswick Power.

Of the total fine, $319,000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF), with the remaining $1,000 directed to the court.

The EDF is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada and is intended to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to projects that will benefit our natural environment.

As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.