UBC fined for ammonia leak from arena that killed fish
The University of British Columbia campus is seen in this aerial shot. (UBC)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, June 25, 2019 10:32AM PDT
VANCOUVER - Environment and Climate Change Canada says the University of British Columbia and a refrigeration company have been handed significant fines for releasing chemicals into a fish-bearing stream that joins the Fraser River.
A statement issued by the federal department says the university was fined $1.2 million after being found guilty of three offences linked to a Sept. 12, 2014, flow of ammonia-laden water into a creek near the university's arena complex.
The statement says the university is appealing the provincial court conviction and the fine imposed at sentencing last Friday.
Toronto-based CIMCO Refrigeration was also fined $800,000 after pleading guilty to allowing the ammonia-tainted water to seep into Booming Ground Creek at U.B.C.'s Point Grey campus.
Environment and Climate Change Canada says the ammonia and water mix was left over after repairs to the arena's refrigeration system.
The statement says about 70 dead fish were found after the discharge, while ammonia levels in the storm drain and ditch leading to the creek would be considered harmful to fish.
The names of both the university and CIMCO have been added to the federal Environmental Offender's Registry and the university is ordered to conduct five years of electronic monitoring of storm-water quality at the outfall where the release occurred.
Fines will be directed to the Government of Canada's Environmental Damages Fund.
It “provides a mechanism for directing funds received as a result of fines, court orders, and voluntary payments to priority projects that will benefit our environment,” the department statement says.