Two Alberta energy companies have been sentenced and fined from an incident in 2014, where chlorine ended up in the North Saskatchewan River.
The charges, laid against Gibson Energy ULC and GEP ULC, operating in partnership as Gibson Energy Partnership, stem from when employees discovered a leak from the fire suppression system, located at the Gibson Edmonton Terminal on both March 4th and the 6th of 2014.
The chlorine entered the waters in an unnamed creek over the next three days. An analysis of the leak site and where the creek enters the North Saskatchewan River found that the high levels of chlorine were deleterious, or harmful, to fish.
After a two week trial, these two organizations were found guilty of these violations on July 25th, 2019:
- depositing or permitting the deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish, or in a place where the deleterious substance may enter water frequented by fish, in violation of subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act
- failing to, as soon as feasible, take all reasonable measures, consistent with public safety and with the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat, to prevent the deposit of a deleterious substance, or to counteract, mitigate or remedy any adverse effects that result from the occurrence, in violation of 38(6) of the Fisheries Act.
In a sentencing hearing on March 18, 2021, they were ordered to pay $1.5 Million, which will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund. This fund will then use the money for repairing environmental damage or to benefit the environment.
Both companies have been added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. The Registry contains information on convictions of corporations registered for offences committed under certain federal environmental laws.
They will also have to make a presentation to industry within Strathcona County about the danger of chlorinated water.