$175,000 fine levied in connection with fuel spill into Slocan Valley creek | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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$175,000 fine levied in connection with fuel spill into Slocan Valley creek

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
February 26, 2020 - 4:05 PM

An estimated 35,000 litres of jet fuel was spilled July 26, 2013, into Lemon Creek in the Slocan Valley, near Nelson.

“The spill contaminated the waterway that is a tributary of the Slocan River, led to residential evacuations and cost the trucking company approximately $5 million in clean-up costs,” reads a press release from the B.C. Conservation office.

“The tanker truck full of fuel was destined for helicopters fighting a forest fire in the area.”

In July 2016, charges were laid against the fuel truck driver, Executive Flight Centre and the Province of British Columbia under the provincial Environmental Management Act and the federal Fisheries Act.

Calgary-based Executive Flight Centre Fuel Services Ltd, the trucking company that employed the driver behind the 35,000-litre Lemon Creek fuel spill, pleaded guilty to one count of a deleterious deposit into waters frequented by fish, under the Fisheries Act, in Nelson Provincial Court on Friday, Feb. 21, and has been fined $175,000.

The majority of the fine — $165,000 — will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund to be used for fish habitat conservation efforts in the Slocan Valley.

The maximum fine at the time of the offence was $300,000.

The fuel truck driver, Danny Lasante, was subsequently convicted of one count of introducing waste into the environment causing pollution, contrary to section 6(4) under the Environmental Management Act and fined $20,000. Half of the fine is directed to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and due in 2021.

The multi-jurisdictional investigation into the spill included the B.C. Conservation Officer Service and Environment and Climate Change Canada.

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