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Husky Oil fined $600K for releasing harmful substance into Englishman River

The Calgary-based oil and gas producer pleaded guilty Friday in provincial court to depositing the substance into a waterway full of fish.
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Husky Energy logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary on Friday, May 5, 2017. Husky Oil has been fined $600,000 for releasing a harmful substance into a river in Saskatchewan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Husky Oil has been fined $600,000 for releasing a harmful substance into a river in Saskatchewan.

The Calgary-based oil and gas producer pleaded guilty Friday in provincial court to depositing the substance into a waterway full of fish.

The charge came after the release almost four years ago of about 2.8 million litres of process water, a byproduct of oil and gas production and typically high in salt content.

Environment Canada says its enforcement officers responded to notice of a rupture at the Westhazel pipeline in July 2018.

The department says the process water ran over about 450 metres of land and into the Englishman River, a fish-bearing tributary to the North Saskatchewan River, near Turtleford, Sask. 

The officers reported dead vegetation, and lab analysis of samples determined the process water was harmful to fish.

The company's name will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry, and the fine will go into the federal government's Environmental Damages Fund.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2022.

The Canadian Press