Teck hit with record pollution fine
Teck Resources Ltd. has been fined $115,000 for a chemical spill in the Columbia River last year.
It's the largest fine in B.C. history for a single count under the province's Environmental Management Act, Environment Minister Barry Penner said.
Penner said Teck pleaded guilty to the charge of "introducing business waste into the environment." The spill in southeast B.C. happened in May 2008.
Nearly 1,000 kilograms of lead solution spilled into the river from the company's lead-zinc smelter in Trail, B.C., about 10 kilometres north of the U.S. border.
Teck was guilty of significant negligence, said the provincial court judge in Rossland, B.C., who imposed the fine. Judge Lisa Morzanski recommended $55,000 of the fine go towards monitoring programs on the river and another $55,000 be spent on a sturgeon recovery initiative.
Several environmental assessments have concluded the spill did not cause significant damage to the river ecosystem.
Teck spokesman Richard Deane says the company regrets what happened and accepts full responsibility.