Canadian National Railway has been fined for a discharge of diesel fuel into the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton. (CN Rail)
Canadian National Railway Co. has been fined more than $2.6-million for a discharge of 90 litres of diesel fuel into Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River.
Montreal-based CN must pay the provincial and federal penalties after pleading guilty to environmental offences on June 15 in an Edmonton court.
Provincial court documents say CN discharged the fuel on April 9, 2015, into a storm sewer that drains into the river.
Alberta Environment began investigating after people reported a hydrocarbon sheen on the water up to two kilometres.
CN did not report the discharge until three months later.
Environment and Climate Change Canada said that, with the help of the City of Edmonton, the source of the spill was traced through the city’s storm drain system to an engine fuelling station at CN’s Bissell Yard.
Federal and provincial investigators found the railyard’s oil-water separator and fuel storage system were faulty, the federal government said in a statement on Friday.
On top of the federal and provincial fines, CN must spend $750,000 to remove two kilometres of underground pipes, Environment and Climate Change Canada said.
“As a result of this conviction, the company’s name will be added to the federal Environmental Offenders Registry,” said the government department, which is responsible for enforcement of the Fisheries Act’s pollution laws.
CN said in a statement it is committed to operating safely and in an environmentally responsible way.
“We regret this unfortunate incident,” said spokeswoman Kate Fenske. “We have already made changes to our operations to avoid a re-occurrence.”
Alberta Environment said most of the province’s $125,000 fine will go toward a trust fund for river conservation.
In 2009, CN was fined $1.4-million after a train crashed and spilled 196,000 litres of petroleum products in Alberta’s Lake Wabamun.
– With a file from Canadian Press