Énergie Valero Inc - conviction information for 2017-02-24

Corporation details
Corporation name: Énergie Valero Inc
Address: 165, chemin des Iles
City: Lévis
Province/territory: Quebec
Postal code: G6V 7M5
Country: Canada
Sector or industry:
Case details
Location of offense: Agriculture et Agroalimentaire Canada (Ferme Chapais à Lévis) et ruisseau Chapais, Quebec
Case summary:

Valero Energy Inc. (formerly Ultramar Ltd) (“the company”) is the owner of the Jean-Gaulin Refinery in Lévis, which processes crude oil from overseas shipped by tanker to its deep-water port on the St. Lawrence River.

On or around January 26, 2008, two types of heavy fuel oil were discharged from a pipeline belonging to Ultramar Ltd. According to Ultramar Ltd’s estimate, approximately 200,000 litres of hydrocarbons were spilled. The hydrocarbons were discharged into the creek on the J. C. Chapais farm, on land belonging to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Following the spill, multiple inspections were carried out by the officers to ensure that the company and its directors were meeting their legal obligation to repair the damage caused to fish habitat. Because the company and its directors had not met that obligation to the satisfaction of Environment and Climate Change Canada, in January 2010 the Case Officer issued a direction requiring remediation work, environmental monitoring over a number of years, and submission of annual reports and results to the Department, among other things.

After that direction was issued, the company carried out significant remediation work to the creek on the J. C. Chapais farm, but the Department did not receive all the data concerning the work and the environmental monitoring as specified in the direction. An investigation was opened in April 2012 due to non-compliance with the direction. That investigation led to charges being laid against the company and its directors.

Not Available
Enforcement notification: Valero Energy Inc.–Jean Gaulin Refinery must pay fine of $500,000 for environmental offences
Result: Guilty Plea
Date of conviction: 2017-02-24
Court level: Provincial and Territorial Court
Nature of offense(s):
  • Failure to comply with a directive
Additional details about the nature of the offense:

The investigation conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada found that Valero Energy Inc.-Jean Gaulin Refinery had committed the following violation six times:

  • Failure to comply with a directive requiring rehabilitation and environmental monitoring work issued following the deposit of a deleterious substance in water frequented by fish.
Legislative details
Act Regulations Section(s)
Pollution Prevention provisions (subsection 36(3)) of the Fisheries Act 40(3)(g)
Date of sentencing: 2017-03-01
Location of sentencing: Court of Québec, Quebec City courthouse, Quebec
  • Fine,
  • Penalty for the EDF
Amount of fine(s): $500,000
Sentencing details:
The company, Valero Energy Inc., was ordered to pay a total fine of $500,000 before the Criminal and Penal Division of the Court of Québec, in Quebec City, on February 24, 2017, after pleading guilty to six charges. A fine of $120,000 was imposed under the Fisheries Act for violating paragraph 40(3)g) of the Act by failing to comply with a direction issued by an officer, and the company was ordered by the court to pay the amount of $380,000 under paragraph 79.2f) of the Fisheries Act because of the financial benefit it obtained through these violations. The total fine of $500,000 will be directed to the Environmental Damages Fund (EDF).
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