Company Fined $25,000 for Discharging Super-Chlorinated Water into River

A company was hired to replace a water line along a street. A worker flushed the new line with super-chlorinated water to disinfect it. After an hour and a half, he switched the hose so the water would drain into the storm drain, which flowed to the river. There were soon complaints of a strong bleach smell by the river. The company pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act by depositing a deleterious substance into water frequented by fish. The Crown requested a $150,000 fine, while the defence argued that a fine between $5,000 to $15,000 was more appropriate. The court fined the company $25,000, noting that it had no prior environmental violations, fully cooperated with the investigation, paid all cleanup costs and didn’t actually harm any fish [R. v. A.I.C. Construction Ltd., [2014] ABPC 184 (CanLII), Aug. 20, 2014].