Suncor Energy has been handed a $275,000 environmental fine for failing to comply with its Water Act approval.

The oilsands giant pleaded guilty on Friday morning in a Fort McMurray courtroom to one count under the Water Act.


Calgary-based Suncor Energy has been fined $275,000 for failing to follow the water management plan set out for its Voyageur Upgrader site. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The province charged Suncor in September 2010  for failing to follow the water management plan set out for its Voyageur Upgrader site, north of Fort McMurray.

Alberta Environment alleged the company allowed rainwater and dirt from a construction site into the Athabasca River three years ago, and that it gave misleading information to the government.

The company originally faced nine charges: six under the Water Act and three under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

The province said Suncor has since taken steps to properly manage water at the construction site by following a revised water management plan.

In April 2009, Suncor was fined a combined $850,000 in two separate environmental cases.

The company was fined $675,000 for failing to install pollution control equipment at its Firebag facility near Fort McMurray and failing to tell Alberta Environment about it.

Suncor was also fined $175,000 in connection with the dumping of under-treated wastewater into the Athabasca River from a company-owned work camp near Fort McMurray.

Another $200,000 fine was levied in December 2010  for the release of effluent in 2008 from sediment ponds built as part of Suncor operations near the Steepbank River north of Fort McMurray.