Discharge of Contaminant Results in $700,000 in Penalties for Refinery
Workers at a refinery located south of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation discovered a flare knock-out line leak of liquid containing mercaptan. The leak caused a foul odour and flowed into the on-site ditch, which empties into the refinery’s storm sewer system. The mercaptan’s foul odour affected numerous people, several of whom complained of sore eyes and throats, headaches, nausea and vomiting. The company pleaded guilty to discharging a contaminant and was fined $500,000. The court also issued an order requiring it to pay $200,000 to the First Nation [Shell Canada Ltd., Govt. News Release, Nov. 27, 2015].