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RMWB due in court over 2017 incident at Water Treatment Plant

PHOTO. Fort McMurray Court House. MYMCMURRAY/Phil Wood

The Municipality is due in Provincial court tomorrow facing several environmental law infractions

The government of Alberta alleged the RMWB violated the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA).

They also allege they violated the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act (TDG).

These allegations date back to a series of incidents between May 8-17, 2017.

Chemical Reaction

According to municipal records, there was an incident at the Water Treatment Plant on May 8, 2017.

During the incident, a chemical reaction resulted in the production of chlorine gas in the facility.

Isolated to the facility, the RMWB reported the incident did not impact the region’s water supply.

Workers cleaned up the spill over the next week.

In a statement, the Municipality said they notified the public and Alberta Environment & Parks the day of the incident.

Also, they said residents were not at risk, which Alberta Health Services later confirmed.

There was also an internal review which led to improvements at the Water Treatment Plant.

However, the province found just cause to charge the Municipality with four violations of EPEA and one under TDG.

These include the release of substances with the potential to affect the waterworks system, impact allowed water concentrations, and make potable water unsuitable.

Also, the province alleges the RMWB failed to comply with an order for the contractor to ensure non-conforming chemicals get into the waterworks system.

Finally, the fifth charge from TDG laws states the contractor didn’t ensure the inspection of unloading connections.

The RMWB makes their first appearance at the Fort McMurray Court House at 9:30 a.m. on July 17, 2019.

Since the matter is before the courts, the Municipality will not make any further comment.