Teck fined $78,100 for water pollution

A quarter of the permit exceedances were more than 200 per cent over the limit.

A B.C. Government report has revealed Teck Coal was fined more than $78,000 for water pollution at an Elk Valley mine last year.

In October, the mining giant received three Administrative Penalties under the Environmental Management Act, totaling $78,100, for failing to comply with an effluent discharge permit for its Line Creek Operations.

According to the government’s latest environmental enforcement report, there were numerous discharges from heavy duty wash bays at Line Creek that exceeded permit limits for extractable petroleum hydrocarbons (EPH).

Half of the permit exceedances were more than 50 per cent over the limit and a quarter were more than 200 per cent over the limit.

The report said Teck also failed to inspect and maintain authorized works, “notably an oil water separator which would have helped prevent the exceedance of permitted EPH levels”.

A third penalty was issued for failure to immediately report the non-compliances, with delays up to 104 days.

According to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, petroleum hydrocarbons consist of a range of organic compounds found in or derived for geological sources, such as oil, coal and bitumen, and including a variety of raw and refined fuels and lubricants.

Contamination can cause a “wide variety of problems related to their toxicity, mobility and persistence”, including a potential for fire or explosion hazard, and toxicity to some degree for human or environmental health.

The Quarterly Environmental Enforcement Summary for the 4th Quarter of 2017 presents enforcement actions taken by Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, the Environmental Assessment Office, the Agricultural Land Commission, and parts of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Between October 1 and December 31, 2017, there were nine Orders, 94 Administrative Sanctions, 659 Tickets, eight Administrative Penalties and 28 Court Convictions across the province, with penalties totaling $350,752.

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