Teck’s Fording River metallurgical coal operation in B.C. Credit: Teck Resources
The government of British Columbia has fined Teck Coal Limited C$15.4 million ($11.5m) for exceeding pollution thresholds and failing to build an active water treatment facility on time at its Fording River Operations in southeastern BC.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy had ordered Teck Coal to design, construct and operate the active water treatment facilities (AWTF) or alternative water treatment technology as approved by the director, to be operational by the December 2018 deadline in its permit.
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“The permittee must employ best achievable technology in the development of these treatment facilities. Phosphorus treatment must be included if necessary, to ensure BC Water Quality Guidelines for chlorophyll -a for freshwater aquatic life in streams is met,” the Ministry said.
“The permittee must ensure that all necessary active water treatment works or alternative water quality mitigation works are designed, constructed and operated insufficient time and at sufficient capacity to meet targets and timeframes for water quality consistent with the ABMP,” it noted.
This is the latest environmental infraction for Canada’s largest diversified miner at its operations in the Province.
Last month, Teck was fined C$2.2million ($1.6m) for an acid spill into Columbia River at its Trail smelter operations. A Rossland provincial court judge made the order after the company pleaded guilty to two charges laid under the federal Fisheries Act and one charge laid under the provincial Environmental Management Act. The charges resulted from an effluent release in February 2019.
ECCC enforcement officers investigated and determined the discharge of approximately 2.5 million litres of effluent into the river just north of the US border resulted from numerous operational errors.
In March 2021, Teck Coal Limited resolved charges under the Fisheries Act relating to 2012 discharges of selenium and calcite to a mine settling pond and to the Fording River from its Fording River and Greenhills steelmaking coal operations in the Elk Valley region of British Columbia. Teck Coal paid a penalty of C$30 million for each offence, totalling C$60 million ($47.6m).