SHERBROOKE, Quebec – On December 10, 2020, the Régie intermunicipale du centre de valorisation des matières résiduelles du Haut-Saint-François et de Sherbrooke, also known as Valoris, pleaded guilty in the Sherbrooke courthouse to one count of contravening subsection 36(3) of the Fisheries Act, which prohibits the discharge of a deleterious substance into waters frequented by fish.
Between March 13, 2014, and October 12, 2016, Valoris released effluent containing ammonia nitrogen, which is lethal to rainbow trout, from its leachate-treatment system at its sanitary landfill site and from its composting platform, into the Bégin stream, a tributary to the Saint-François River.
Valoris was fined $500,000, which will be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund.
In addition to the fine, the court ordered Valoris to take action to ensure its water-treatment system is closely monitored.
Environment and Climate Change Canada is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, which prohibit the deposit of deleterious substances into waters frequented by fish.
Environment and Climate Change Canada administers the Environmental Damages Fund, which is a Government of Canada program that was created in 1995. The Fund follows the polluter pays principle and ensures that court-awarded penalties are used for projects that will benefit the environment.