On February 20, 2019 Fraser River Pile and Dredge GP Inc. (“Fraser”) was ordered to pay a penalty in the amount of $350,000.00 after pleading guilty to depositing a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish, contrary to the Fisheries Act. Section 36(3) of the Fisheries Act states that: “…no person shall deposit or permit the deposit of a deleterious substance of any type in water frequented by fish or in any place under any conditions where the deleterious substance or any other deleterious substance that results from the deposit of the deleterious substance may enter any such water.”
In February of 2014, Fraser was dredging in Deas Slough in the Fraser River when its vessel punctured a submerged water main carrying chlorinated water to the City of Delta, British Columbia. Enforcement officers found that the chlorinated water was released through a pipe into the waterway. When released, the chlorinated water caused damage to fish in the waterway. Deas Slough is considered an important fish-bearing body of water.
The penalty will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund. The Environmental Damages Fund is administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It was created in 1995 to provide a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit our natural environment.
In addition, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry, which contains information on convictions of corporations obtained under federal environmental laws.