Woodlot contaminated, Yukon woodcutter must pay cleanup costs

Romeo Leduc was convicted in Yukon territorial court on Tuesday for ignoring fuel spillage and storage rules at his woodlot near Haines Junction, and refusing to clean oil-soaked soils and debris left behind.

Romeo Leduc convicted for ignoring fuel spillage and storage rules at his woodlot near Haines Junction

Romeo Leduc was convicted for refusing to clean oil-soaked soils and leaving debris on his woodlot near Haines Junction. Remediation assessors have estimated it will cost at least $42,000 to clean the area. (Government of Yukon)

A Yukon woodcutter who left a contaminated mess on his woodlot has been ordered to pay cleanup costs.

Charges were laid under the Environment Act and the Forestry Act against Romeo Leduc, the operator of Duke Ventures firewood services. His woodlot is about 10 kilometres north of Marshall Creek, in the Haines Junction area.

Leduc was convicted in Yukon territorial court on Tuesday for ignoring fuel spillage and storage rules at his woodlot, and refusing to clean oil-soaked soils and debris left behind.

Court was told that environmental affairs analysts with the Yukon government have now deemed the site contaminated.

Romeo Leduc, seen here in 2015, did not appear in court this week. (CBC/Paul Tukker )

No further permits until clean-up is paid

Remediation assessors have estimated it will cost at least $42,000 to clean it up. Territorial Court Judge Heino Lilles has ordered Leduc to pay $36,000 towards that.  

Until it's paid, Leduc will not be allowed further woodcutting permits in the Yukon.

Leduc did not attend the trial in Whitehorse. Court was told his last communication to Yukon forestry authorities was by phone, telling them, "you can't get blood from a stone."

He's since left the territory, and is now in southern B.C. Reached by telephone, Leduc told CBC the woodlot in question was leased to another operator who is responsible for the mess left behind. 

Leduc told CBC the woodlot was leased to another operator who is responsible for the mess left behind. (Government of Yukon)