Teck Coal Limited - conviction information for 2017-10-05

Corporation details
Corporation name: Teck Coal Limited
Address: Line Creek Operations, PO Box 3000
City: Sparwood
Province/territory: British Columbia
Postal code: V0B 2G0
Country: Canada
Sector or industry: 212 - Mining and quarrying (except oil and gas)
Case details
Location of offense: Line Creek Operations, PO Box 3000, Sparwood, British Columbia
Case summary: Teck Coal Limited owns and operates 5 coal mines in the southeastern corner of British Columbia.  These mines are Fording River Operations, Greenhills Operations, Line Creek Operations, Elkview Operations, and Coal Mountain Operations.


On October 16th, 2014, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) received notification from Line Creek Operations (LCO) that fish were found dead in Line Creek.

On October 17th, 2014, ECCC attended LCO and performed an inspection of Line Creek, the adjacent Contingency Ponds, and the outfall area of the selenium Active Water Treatment facility (AWTF).  Samples were collected, including toxicity samples from the AWTF outfall.  Additional dead fish were found on this date.  Also on October 17th the AWTF was shutdown over effluent toxicity concerns.

An investigation was initiated and it was determined that the effluent from the AWTF failed 4 toxicity tests over a period of 2 weeks, including the toxicity test from the sample collected by ECCC on October 17th, 2014.

Over the course of the investigation, 74 fish, including 52 Bull Trout and 22 Cutthroat Trout, were found dead in the areas of Line Creek adjacent to the AWTF. The Bull Trout are a protected species in southeastern BC, and they enter Line Creek in Septembet/October each year for spawning purposes.

On January 24th, 2017, ECCC laid 3 charges under section 36(3) of the Fisheries Act against Teck Coal Limited.
Enforcement notification: Exporter of steelmaking coal fined for Fisheries Act violations at Line Creek in British Columbia’s Elk River Valley
Result: Guilty Plea
Date of conviction: 2017-10-05
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:
Legislative details
Act Regulations Section(s)
Pollution Prevention provisions (subsection 36(3)) of the Fisheries Act
Date of sentencing: 2017-10-05
Location of sentencing: Fernie, BC
  • Penalty for the EDF
Amount of fine(s): $1,425,000
Sentencing details:

The 05, October, 2017, before the Provincial Court of Fernie, B.C. Teck Coal Limited pleaded guilty to three offences under the Fisheries Act related to releases of effluent deleterious to fish into Line Creek, and was sentenced to a penalty of $1,425,000.  All of the money was directed to the EDF.

As part of the resolution, Teck Coal Limited also agreed to have their parent company, Teck Resources Ltd., post a notice of the conviction on their website within their upcoming Sustainability Report.


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