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PEI dairy farm fined for hose rupture that killed trout

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The federal government has fined a Prince Edward Island-based dairy farm that failed to properly install and inspect a liquid manure hose that ruptured into fish-bearing waters.

Nobra Holsteins Inc. pleaded guilty to a Fisheries Act charge and was fined $50,000 for the hose rupture that killed some 530 Brook Trout in Irishtown over June 2020.

Environment and Climate Change Canada says that not only was the long-distance hose system improperly set up, it was installed in a high-risk area on Prince Edward Island Government property without proper approval.

In addition to the fine, the company has been ordered to create a Manure Spill Prevention and Response Plan that will be readily available to all company employees and farm workers.

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Restocking fish in the 2,459-metre section of the tributary cost $6,000 and resulted in the cancellation of recreational activities in the water until December 2021, according to the conviction notice.

Federal and provincial environment officers collected water samples and dead Brook Trout from the affected watershed where the liquid manure was deposited. Lab tests revealed elevated ammonia concentrations, indicating high pH levels fatal to fish.

“The dead fish smelled strongly of manure and a necropsy revealed that the fish had been healthy until the incident,” states the federal notice.

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

Related Professional Development Course

Learn about federal, provincial and municipal regulations governing water and wastewater, as well as best practices, by attending the CANECT course: “Water & Wastewater Regulation and Compliance 2022:”. This course is being held on April 27, 2022 in Vaughan, Ontario as part of the 28th annual CANECT Environmental Compliance and Due Diligence Training Event. Visit the CANECT website to learn more.

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