Companies to pay $550K in fines and penalties for 2007 pipeline rupture
Three companies were sentenced in provincial court Nov. 10 to pay a total of $550,000 in fines and penalties for their roles in a 2007 pipeline rupture that showered a North Burnaby neighbourhood with crude oil.
B. Cusano Contracting Inc., R.F. Binnie & Associates Ltd. and Kinder Morgan subsidiary Trans Mountain Pipeline L.P. were each ordered to pay a $1,000 fine to the Crown and contribute $149,000 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, which supports projects that maintain and enhance the health and biological diversity of the province's fish, wildlife and natural habitats, according to a provincial environment ministry press release.
Trans Mountain Pipeline as ordered to contribute an additional $100,000 to the British Columbia Common Ground Alliance for use in identifying parties engaged in construction or excavation, organizing and planning DigSafe BC workshops, and raising awareness to prevent similar incidents.
The sentence was the result of a lengthy investigation by the environment ministry's conservation officer service with support from Environment Canada. The investigation led to charges being approved by Crown counsel under provincial environmental legislation.
On July 24, 2007, construction crews ruptured an underground pipeline on Inlet Drive in North Burnaby. The resulting oil geyser released approximately 250,000 litres of synthetic crude oil into the land and marine environment of Burrard Inlet.
The three companies involved pleaded guilty Oct. 3 to charges of “introducing pollution to the environment” under the Environmental Management Act.