Mackenzie Pulp Mill Corporation - conviction information for 2018-04-19

Corporation details
Corporation name: Mackenzie Pulp Mill Corporation
Address: 215-209 Carrall Street
City: Vancouver
Province/territory: British Columbia
Postal code: V6B 2J2
Country: Canada
Sector or industry: 322 - Paper manufacturing
Case details
Location of offense: Mackenzie, British Columbia
Case summary:

The Mackenzie Pulp Mill is a fully bleached softwood Kraft pulp mill on the southeastern shore of Williston Reservoir, approximately 5km southwest of the Town of the Mackenzie (BC) and approximately 200 km northeast of Prince George.


On 3 days in July 2014 (July 8, 17 and 18), and 1 day in September 2014 (Sept 8), the mill released effluent to Williston Lake that failed the trout toxicity test, and was therefore found to be toxic to fish.   In addition, for seven separate days between July 6 and 17, 2014, the regular BOD samples of the mill effluent were above Provincial permit limit. 

On 2 days in April 2015 (Apr 17 and 20) effluent was found to be toxic to fish, as the regular trout toxicity sample from the outfall to Williston Lake failed.

On September 6, 2016 another toxicity event occurred.


The investigation into these incidents revealed that the mill’s treatment system had not properly treated the effluent before discharging it, due in part to improper management of the wastewater entering the treatment system. The effluent was deposited into Williston Lake, which is frequented by fish.


In January 2017, the Company was charged with

  • Six counts of depositing a deleterious substance into fish bearing waters (FA36(3))

  • Eight counts of failing to comply with the requirements of a permit (BC EMA S120(6)


In February 2017, an additional charge under the Fisheries Act 36(3) was laid in relation to a deleterious deposit of pulp mill effluent on September 6th, 2016


April 13, 2018:

  • One global count sworn: depositing a deleterious substance into fish bearing waters (FA36(3))  on July 8, 2014 and September 6, 2016.

  • All prior charges were stayed at the court date on April 19, 2018.

Enforcement notification: Pulp Mill in British Columbia fined $900K for releasing deleterious effluent
Result: Guilty Plea
Date of conviction: 2018-04-19
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 Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations
Date of sentencing: 2018-04-19
Location of sentencing: Mackenzie BC Provincial Court
  • Fine,
  • Penalty for the EDF
Amount of fine(s): $900,000
Sentencing details:
On April 19, 2018 before the provincial court in Mackenzie, British Columbia, Mackenzie Pulp Mill Corporation pleaded guilty to one offence under the Fisheries Act related to the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations (PPER) and was sentenced to pay $900,000 per one count in a fine to the  Environmental Damages Fund (EDF) and along with a court order imposed stating that within four months of the date of the sentence, Mackenzie Pulp Mill Corporation is to commission an independent environmental audit of its operations and make recommendations regarding the implementation of best available technology and best practices to prevent future deleterious deposits. A report identifying these recommendations, and the actions of the Mackenzie Pulp Mill Corporation to address those recommendations, shall also be provided to Environment and Climate Change Canada within one year of the date of the sentence.
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