Teck Metals Ltd., a division of Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.A), has been fined $210,000 by the British Columbia Provincial Court for discharging sodium hydroxide into the Columbia River from its zinc and lead smelter in Trail, B.C.
According to Environment Canada, Teck Metals was fined for offences under both the Fisheries Act and the Spill Reporting Regulation of the Environmental Management Act.
On March 2011, approximately 350,000 litres of “highly caustic effluent” was discharged into the Columbia River after a solution composed of 50% sodium hydroxide was being disposed of at the smelter.
Teck Metals did not report the incident until several days later, said Environment Canada.
Of the $210,000 fine, $5,000 is allocated for the charge under the Fisheries Act, $5,000 is allocated for the charge under the Spill Reporting Regulation of the Environmental Management Act, $100,000 is payable to the Environmental Damages Fund and $100,000 is payable to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
The money paid to the Environmental Damages Fund, administered by Environment Canada, will be used to fund fish or fish habitat conservation initiatives in the Columbia River and Kootenay River watersheds. Preference will be given to projects in the lower Columbia River area, south of Nelson, B.C.
Environment Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Environment were part of a joint investigation into the issue.