Husky Oil Operations Limited has been fined $600,000 in Saskatchewan Provincial Court for contravening subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act. The fine will be paid to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.
The company has pleaded guilty to one count of depositing a deleterious substance into the North Saskatchewan River. In 2018 about 2.8 million litres of process water from the Westhazel pipeline was released. The process water is a byproduct of oil and gas production and typically high in salt content.
In July 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada or ECCC environmental enforcement officers responded to a notice of a rupture in the Westhazel pipeline leading to an ongoing release of process water. The process water flowed about 450 meters over land and entered the Englishman River, a fish-bearing tributary of the North Saskatchewan River near Turtleford.
Environmental enforcement officers gathered samples and saw dead vegetation along a 450-metre trek leading to the river. Laboratory testing of the samples determined that the process water was harmful to fish.
With the conviction, the company’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.