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RMWB pleads guilty in 2017 incident at water treatment plant.

Last Updated Sep 11, 2020 at 6:07 pm MDT

PHOTO. Fort McMurray Court House. MYMCMURRAY/Phil Wood

The government of Alberta announced the RMWB has pleaded guilty to one count under environmental legislation.

The move referred to an incident at the Fort McMurray Water Treatment Plant on May 8, 2017.

RELATED: RMWB due in court over 2017 incident at Water Treatment Plant

On that day sodium hypochlorite and poly-aluminum chloride accidentally mixed, which resulted in the release of chlorine gas.

“Provincial court has penalized the municipality $150,000 for releasing a substance into the environment in an amount, concentration or level or at a rate of release that causes or may cause a significant adverse effect. This is contrary to Section 109(2) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.”

A spokesperson for the Municipality said the RMWB accepts responsibility.

“Throughout, we cooperated fully with Alberta Environment and Parks in its investigation of this incident and have worked to improve and change processes and safety protocols to ensure an incident like this does not happen again.”

Alberta said the funds will go towards a pair of creative sentencing projects.

One is an RMWB and Alberta Water and Wastewater Operators Association joint workshop.

It will instruct operators on observing and reporting “incidents”,  as well as preventing future events and how to correct them.

The other will direct funds to the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre’s Facility Maintenance department.

These funds will go towards the purchase of filters for their air handling units.

“We appreciate the court’s acceptance of the creative sentencing proposal and that it will benefit the Northern Lights Health Foundation and support educational opportunities with the Alberta Water and Wastewater Operators Association.”

Residents were not at risk during the 2017 incident, which Alberta Health Services later confirmed.