Three companies connected with a burst pipeline that spewed black crude over a Burnaby neighbourhood in 2007 have been ordered to pay $550,000 in fines and penalties.

B. Cusano Contracting Inc., R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd. and Kinder Morgan subsidiary Trans Mountain Pipeline L.P. pleaded guilty to environmental charges last month and were sentenced in provincial court Thursday.

The fines include a $447,000 contribution to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, to support the preservation of natural spaces.

The spill was triggered on July 24, 2007 when construction crews digging a sewer-line trench in Burnaby punctured two holes in a pipeline carrying synthetic crude to a shipping terminal on the waterfront.

Eleven homes were affected by the spill, and several residents had to wait months to return to their houses. About 250 people were forced to flee the area immediately to avoid the oil and the strong smell of crude.

The oil flowed down local roads and into storm drains. About 70,000 litres eventually spilled into Burrard Inlet, coating plants and marine life, fouling the feathers of Canada geese and affecting 17 kilometres of shoreline.

With files from The Canadian Press