Windsor Star

Calgary company fined $125K for oil spill


CALGARY A Calgary company has been fined $125,000 for a 2008 oil spill that killed 300 birds near Ralston, Alta.

Harvest Operations Corp. pleaded guilty this week to one count under the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act “for the deposit of a substance harmful to migratory birds in waters or an area frequented by birds.”

Environmen­t Canada said about 14,500 litres of crude oil were discharged from an oil well site on Sept. 8, 2008, due to a bridge plug failure and improperly sealed well bore.

The spill affected 1,200 square metres of land in the southwest corner of Canadian Forces Base Suffield.

An investigat­ion discovered that about 300 birds, including migratory birds, songbirds and raptors, died by landing in the spilled product.

The fine will be paid to the federal Environmen­tal Damages Fund.

Last month, Syncrude Canada Ltd. was fined $3.2 million for the highprofil­e deaths two years ago of 1,600 ducks at an oilsands waste pond in northern Alberta.

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