Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd., Harmac Pacific Operations - conviction information for 2016-05-17

Corporation details
Corporation name: Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd., Harmac Pacific Operations
Address: 1000 Pl. Avenue West
City: Nanaimo
Province/territory: British Columbia
Postal code: V9X 1J2
Country: Canada
Sector or industry: 322 - Paper manufacturing
Case details
Location of offense: 1000 Pl. Avenue West, Nanaimo, British Columbia
Case summary:

Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd, under the trademark name “Harmac Pacific” operates a pulp mill in Nanaimo, BC.  On June 26, 2013, Harmac Pacific experienced a power outage that impacted the outfall pump-house located on the foreshore of the Northumberland Channel which connects to the Strait of Georgia and the Pacific Ocean.

It was discovered on June 26, 2013 that an estimated 3,750,000 litres of untreated effluent had spilled into the Northumberland Channel for approximately 88 minutes.  The investigation into the incident determined that the spill was the result, in part, of numerous failing operational system redundancies previously built into the outfall pump-house to prevent a spill of effluent during a power outage.  Specifically, the direct causes of the spill at the mill were; employee error, a failure to act as required by an internal mill procedure and lack of investment in replacing or effectively repairing previously identified faulty equipment.

At no time during the 88 minute deposit out of the normal course of events did an employee at the mill collect a grab sample as required by the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations.

On March 4, 2015 EO Lahti laid 2 charges on Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd for s. 36(3) of the Fisheries Act and s. 32(3) of the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations.  EO Lahti delivered the Summons to Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd the same day.
Enforcement notification: Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd. (Harmac Pacific) ordered to pay $135,000 penalty for untreated pulp and paper effluent spill
Result: Guilty Plea
Date of conviction: 2016-05-17
Court level: Provincial and Territorial Court
Nature of offense(s):
  • Allowed the deposit of a deleterious substance
Additional details about the nature of the offense: Not available
Legislative details
Act Regulations Section(s)
Pollution Prevention provisions (subsection 36(3)) of the Fisheries Act 36(3)
Date of sentencing: 2016-05-17
Location of sentencing: Nanaimo, BC
  • Fine,
  • Penalty for the EDF
Amount of fine(s): $135,000
Sentencing details:

Nanaimo Forest Products Ltd., under the trade name Harmac Pacific, was sentenced to pay a penalty of $135,000, of which $130,000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF). Harmac Pacific pleaded guilty in B.C. provincial court on May 17, 2016, to one offence for contravening subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act.

Harmac Pacific experienced a power outage on June 26, 2013, resulting in an estimated 3 700 000 litres of untreated effluent being spilled into Northumberland Channel for approximately 90 minutes. The power outage impacted the outfall pumphouse located on the foreshore of Northumberland Channel, which connects to the Strait of Georgia and the Pacific Ocean.

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