Teck fined for discharging effluent

In 2011 up to 300 litres of high pH solution was discharged into a drain at the mining giant's Warfield operation.

Teck Trail Operations will pay a penalty of $210,000 under the Fisheries Act and the Environmental Management Act.

The fine is in relation to discharging more pH effluent into the Columbia River than it was permitted to do back in 2011, according to a news release.

Most of this money will be split evenly between the provincial Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the federal Environmental Damages Fund to support habitat conservation within Columbia River watersheds.

The penalty is due to an incident that occurred on March 5, 2011, when approximately 100 to 300 litres of high pH solution was discharged into a drain at the Warfield operation and subsequently drained into the Columbia River, resulting in a permit exceedance.

The high pH solution used to condition the boiler water was accidentally deposited to a drain that discharged into the river before it could be treated. When the incident occurred, the pH for the measured period went up to 9.1 when the facility is obligated to stay within 6.2-8.5 under direction of the Ministry of Environment.

A measurement below seven means acid is present and a measurement above seven is basic (alkaline), according to Richard Deane, Teck environmental, health and safety and public affairs manager.

Teck commissioned a third-party study by Massey Environmental Consultants, which found no indication of impacts on fish or longterm environmental effects.