Manitoba paper mill fined $1 million for toxic release into Saskatchewan River

THE PAS, Man. –

A paper mill in northern Manitoba is facing one of the largest environmental fines in the province’s history.

On Friday, Canadian Kraft Paper Industries was ordered to pay a million-dollar fine after pleading guilty to a charge under the federal Fisheries Act.

The company admitted that in 2019, its mill in The Pas released 181 million litres of what Environment Canada calls an acutely lethal toxin into the Saskatchewan River.

That release from a leaky pipe contained black liquor, a manufacturing byproduct that is toxic to fish.

The Saskatchewan River is home to many species of fish, including the endangered lake sturgeon.

As well as paying the fine, Canadian Kraft Paper must also conduct an independent environmental audit within 12 months to make recommendations on how to prevent future releases.

That report must be delivered to Environment Canada.

The fine is to be directed to the Government of Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund and used for projects that improve the environment.

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