B.C. environmental compliance fines issued to fruit packer, coal mine and gravel operation

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A fruit washing and packaging operation in Kelowna, British Columbia, has been fined $78,368 following an unauthorized discharge of effluent. 

An inspection of Sandher Fruit Packers Ltd. in February by the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy led to the administrative penalty under the province’s Environmental Management Act.  

The fruit packing company has previously been fined for similar violations in 2018 and 2022, according to a provincial environmental compliance report.  

Additionally, the fruit packing operation failed to adequately complete waste discharge authorizations for the facility on two occasions, said the Ministry.  

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In Quesnel, B.C., a concrete and gravel operation has also been fined under the province’s Environmental Management Act for four unauthorized discharges from various air treatment systems. United Concrete & Gravel Ltd. previously ignored directions to amend its operating guidelines, according to a provincial environmental compliance report.  

The company was fined $18,281 for the violations.  

In 2019, the company was also fined for discharging solid waste at the same site without authorization.  


 

Conuma Resource Limited, a coal mine near Chetwynd, B.C., was fined $41,100 for failing to follow its approved water quality monitoring program. 

The company is required to submit the results of effluent discharge and receiving environment water quality sampling programs to the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy within 60 calendar days of the end of the quarter when the samples were collected. 

Conuma failed on 406 occasions to follow various aspects of the Surface Water and Groundwater Monitoring Program, according to a provincial environmental compliance report. The report also states that a number of acute toxicity water tests were not completed, nor were tests intended to gauge weekly total phosphorus levels.  

The company was also fined $4,750 for failing to construct and operate the mine in a way that prevents particulate matter exceedances, as well as exceeding total particulate matter concentrations on numerous occasions. The company argued at a tribunal that a variety of operations in the area of the mine, including forestry operations and wildfires, may have created misleading data captured by monitoring stations.  

The ministry noted that Conuma “likely derived” an economic benefit from failing to implement adequate additional fugitive dust suppression measures necessary to achieve compliance with its emissions permit limit. 

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