Car rental company fined $1M for fuel transfer spill that polluted Quebec creek

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Following an attempt to transfer 20,000 litres of gasoline into a 5,000-litre fuel trap, Enterprise Rent-A-Car has been fined $1 million for the eventual contamination of Bouchard Creek in Quebec.

The incident was “due largely to the negligence of the car rental company” stated an announcement from Environment and Climate Change Canada, which investigated the fuel transfer incident that occurred on January 14, 2021, in Dorval at an Enterprise service centre.

The car rental company pleaded guilty in a Quebec court to one count under the federal Fisheries Act.

“The incident was caused by a lack of proper filling-pipe identification, insufficient supervision during delivery, and the absence of leak-detection procedures,” Environment and Climate Change Canada stated in a notice about the conviction.

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The improper fuel transfer resulted in the discharge of approximately 15,000 litres of gasoline into the site’s storm sewer system, eventually reaching the fish-bearing waters of Bouchard Creek, which flow into Lake Saint-Louis.

Enterprise’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.

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