For the third time in seven months, the Alberta Energy Regulator has laid charges against Apache Canada, this time with a maximum fine of $2.5 million for a 2014 pipeline spill.

The current charges stem from the release of approximately 1.9 million litres of wastewater into a creek near Whitecourt, Alta.

Previous charges were laid for a pipeline spill near Zama City in northwest Alberta that released 9.5 million litres of wastewater into the surrounding muskeg. Apache had to pay $16,500 for that incident. 

Also, on July 7, 2015, the regulator ordered the company to "address issues with its pipeline integrity management system," according to an AER news release.

The fine and the charges stemmed from an investigation into Apache "for its failure to follow provincial legislation and AER requirements," according to the regulator.  

Apache will face the current charges — five counts for contravention of the Pipeline Act, and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act — in court starting on Feb. 9.