British Columbia

UBC must pay $1.2M fine after losing appeal over ammonia dump that killed fish in Vancouver creek

The University of British Columbia has lost an appeal of a hefty fine and conviction over an ammonia release that ended up in a fish-bearing stream.

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses appeal of conviction under Fisheries Act over release of chemical in 2014

UBC and a refrigeration company were fined a total of $2 million by the provincial court after ammonia was discharged into a storm drain on campus. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The University of British Columbia has lost an appeal of a hefty fine and conviction over an ammonia release that ended up in a fish-bearing stream.

The university and CIMCO Refrigeration were charged under the Fisheries Act last year after ammonia was deposited into a sewer near the university's Thunderbird Arena, which found its way into the Fraser River and killed 70 fish.

CIMCO Refrigeration was fined $800,000 by the provincial court after pleading guilty to discharging the chemical into the storm drain.

The university was fined $1.2 million, but appealed its conviction and fine to B.C. Supreme Court, arguing that it couldn't be proven that the ammonia had entered the river, killing the fish.

In a decision released Tuesday, Justice Neena Sharma dismissed the university's claims that the trial judge made errors when considering the evidence.

The judge refused to decrease the fine and also dismissed the university's appeals of the conviction under the Fisheries Act.

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