Petroleum company fined for failing to comply with Ministry order

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On March 1, 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) issued a news release stating that Valero Energy Inc. was ordered to pay a total fine of $500,000 after failing to comply with a directive following an 2008 crude oil spill.

Valero Energy Inc. – Jean Gaulin Refinery, in Lévis, Quebec, pleaded guilty to six counts, and it was sentenced to pay the sum of $500,000 on February 24, 2017. The company was ordered to pay a $120,000 fine for failing to comply with an order issued by an officer, thereby committing an offence under paragraph 40(3)(g) of the Fisheries Act. The court also ordered the company to pay the sum of $380,000, pursuant to paragraph 79.2(f), for the financial benefits it obtained through these violations.

The investigation conducted by ECCC found that Valero Energy Inc. – Jean Gaulin Refinery had committed the following violation six times:

  • Failure to comply with a directive requiring rehabilitation and environmental monitoring work issued following the deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish.

According to Valero Energy’s Canadian Director of Public and Government Affairs, Louis-Philippe Gariépy,  the 2008 spill was fully cleaned up and remediated with no danger to human health. The directive that Valero did not comply with, related to follow-up fish habitat monitoring ordered by ECCC.

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The total fine will be deposited in the Environmental Damages Fund, which is administered by ECCC. Gariépy said Valero Energy negotiated with the Ministry to direct the funds into work that will benefit fish habitats in the Quebec City region.

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