Suncor fined $200,000 for violating the Fisheries Act

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Fort McMurraySuncor Energy Inc. pleaded guilty to two violations of section 36(3) of the Fisheries Act for the deposit of a deleterious substance into waters frequented by fish and was fined $200,000.

The charges stem from incidents that occurred between June and August 2008 due to the construction of road works by Suncor Energy Inc. The penalty includes a $20,000 fine, and the remaining $180,000 will go to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.

Environment Canada investigated alleged deposits of a deleterious substance that occurred between June and August 2008 into the Steepbank River north of Fort McMurray. The investigation was related to releases of effluent from sedimentation ponds built as part of the Suncor North Steepbank Extension. As a result of that investigation, charges were laid under the Fisheries Act.

The Environmental Damages Fund was created in 1995 to provide courts with a mechanism to direct that monetary penalties and settlements be invested for the repair of the actual harm done to the environment. It helps ensure the “polluter pays” principle is applied and that polluters take responsibility for their actions.

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