A food manufacturer in Richmond, BC has been fined after its plant leaked vegetable oil into the province’s largest river system.
Vegetarian food company Garden Protein International was fined $285,000 for violating the Fisheries Act in BC’s provincial court. The charges were made after Environment and Climate Change Canada investigated reports that vegetable oil had been released into a ditch – one that leads into the Fraser River.
Following the spill, the manufacturer’s name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry. The fine collected from the company will be added to the federal Environmental Damages Fund, which is used to fund environmental projects.
The provincial government of BC has identified the Fraser River as part of a classified water system that has a high fisheries value – this means that even sport fishers require special fishing licenses before they can catch anything in the water. The river is best known for its enormous white sturgeon, as well as its abundance of all five species of Pacific salmon and Steelhead Trout.
Richmond News reported that on top of the fine, Garden Protein was ordered to install infrastructure at its Richmond plant that would prevent future spills.