On February 29, 2016, Teck Metals Ltd. plead guilty to three offences under the Fisheries Act for the release of substances deleterious to fish in the Columbia River. The total fine was $3,000,000 for the Fisheries Act offences. Teck Metals also paid $400,000 in fines under BC legislation. All of the $3,000,000 fine will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund for fish habitat and fisheries restoration projects in the Kootenay River or Columbia River watersheds.
Teck Metals released a statement in response to the charges describing a total of nine incidents occurring between November 12, 2013 to February 5, 2015. The incidents involved discharges of water with elevated levels of zinc, copper, ammonia, chlorine and cadmium into the Columbia River.
In its statement, Teck Metals says it plans to improve its environmental performance by investing $8.1 million in its Effluent Management Improvement Plan.
This is the third Fisheries Act conviction for Teck Metals listed in the Environmental Offenders Registry. The Registry contains convictions beginning from June 18, 2009. The prior two resulted in fines of $210,000 for discharging sodium hydroxide into the Columbia River, and $325,000 for depositing mercury into the Columbia River.