On August 23rd in St. John’s provincial court, a judge ordered Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Limited to pay $30,000 in penalties after the company pleaded guilty to a violation of the federal Fisheries Act. The violation relates to a March 2013 incident where untreated and acutely lethal effluent was discharged from the Voisey’s Bay mine into the Anaktalak Bay.
Treated process water from the mill located at Vale’s Voisey’s Bay mine, is pumped through a pipeline that is approximately 10 km long and is discharged into Edwards Cove in Anaktalak Bay.
On March 27, 2013, Vale notified Environment and Climate Change Canada that untreated effluent had been released from Vale’s Voisey’s Bay mine into Anaktalak Bay. ECCC enforcement officers subsequently completed an investigation, determined the effluent was acutely lethal and charged Vale in October 2014.
As a result of this conviction, Vale Newfoundland and Labrador Limited will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. Of the total penalty, $25,000 will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund. The fund provides a mechanism to direct pollution-related fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit the environment.
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For more information, visit: www.ec.gc.ca