A section of the Fraser River at Island 22 Regional Park in Chilliwack. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Progress)

A section of the Fraser River at Island 22 Regional Park in Chilliwack. (Jennifer Feinberg/The Progress)

UBC fined $1.2 million for releasing chemicals into Fraser River tributary

Refrigeration company CIMCO fined $800,000 in relation to same incident

The University of British Columbia and a refrigeration company have been handed significant fines for releasing chemicals into a fish-bearing stream that joins the Fraser River.

A statement issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada says UBC was fined $1.2 million after being found guilty of three offences linked to a Sept. 12, 2014, flow of ammonia-laden water into a creek near the university’s arena complex.

The statement says the university is appealing the conviction and the fine imposed at sentencing last Friday.

Toronto-based CIMCO Refrigeration was also fined $800,000 after pleading guilty to allowing the ammonia-tainted water to seep into Booming Ground Creek at the school’s Point Grey campus.

The department says the ammonia and water mix was left over after repairs to the arena’s refrigeration system.

READ MORE: Ice-making company fined $350,000 after fish killed in B.C. creek

About 70 dead fish were found after the discharge, while ammonia levels in the storm drain and ditch leading to the creek would be considered harmful to fish.

The names of both the university and CIMCO have been added to the federal Environmental Offender’s Registry and the university is ordered to conduct five years of electronic monitoring of storm-water quality at the outfall where the release occurred.

Fines will be directed to a federal environmental damages fund.

The Canadian Press

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