Town of Trenton - conviction information for 2024-02-15

Corporation details
Corporation name: Town of Trenton
Address: 120 Main Street
City: Trenton
Province/territory: Nova Scotia
Postal code: B0K 1X0
Country: Canada
Sector or industry: 913 - Local, municipal and regional public administration
Case details
Location of offense: 25 Bruce Street, Trenton, Nova Scotia
Case summary: On November 20, 2019, an on-site inspection was conducted in the Town of Trenton where Enforcement Officers discovered an outfall pipe that was continuously discharging a significant volume of what appeared to be untreated sewage effluent to Lowden Brook in Trenton, Nova Scotia. Toxicity testing determined that the effluent was acutely lethal to fish and was therefore a deleterious substance under the Fisheries Act.

A subsequent investigation determined that the effluent was caused by a blocked sewer pipe which caused untreated sewage effluent to flow to Lowden Brook. The investigation also determined that the Town of Trenton was aware of the blocked sewer pipe on October 12, 2017, and failed to remove the blockage in the sewer pipe or to stop the deposit of the untreated sewage effluent to Lowden Brook in the approximately 2-year period before the November 2019 inspection. The deposit was not reported as required by subsection 38(5) of the Fisheries Act. The deposit was stopped on January 3, 2020. On November 20, 2019, between 213,400 and 384,500 litres of untreated sewage effluent was deposited to Lowden Brook.
One count : Fisheries Act ss 36(3)
Enforcement notification: Town of Trenton fined $100,000 for violating the Fisheries Act in Nova Scotia
Result: Guilty Plea
Date of conviction: 2024-02-15
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: 2024-02-15
Location of sentencing: Pictou, Nova Scotia
  • Penalty for the EDF
Amount of fine(s): $100,000
Sentencing details:
On 15 February 2024, before the Provincial Court of Pictou, Nova Scotia, the Town of Trenton has pleaded guilty to one count of violating Fisheries Act ss. 36(3) and was sentenced to $100,000 fine to be paid to Government of Canada's Environmental Damages Fund. In addition to the sentence, the court also issued an order with a number of conditions to be met.

The aggravating and mitigating factors the Court considered establishing the sentence:
Town was aware of the sewage blockage that resulted in an overflow of untreated sewage to Lowden Brook since October 12, 2017, when they did a video inspection and did not take any action to remove the blockage or stop the deposit to Lowden Brook.
Town failed to report the ongoing deposit as required.
The volume of untreated effluent discharged was estimated to be between 213,400 – 384,500 litres per day.
No prior record with ECCC.
Town accepted responsibility after being issued a direction December 20, 2019.
Town spent $20,000 to fix the issue and completed the work by January 3, 2020.
Town was cooperative with the Environement and Climate Change Canada investigation.
Date modified: