Sun, 29 May 2022

April 7, 2022 - Abbotsford, British Columbia

Strong and effective enforcement of Canada's environmental and wildlife protection laws is one of the concrete ways we are delivering on our commitment to provide clean air and water, and conserve wildlife species and their habitat.

On April 4, 2022, in the Provincial Court of British Columbia at Abbotsford, Delfresh Mushroom Farm Ltd. was ordered to pay a total fine of $265,000 and H.Q. Mushroom Farm Ltd. was ordered to pay a total fine of $385,000. These fines come after the companies, both having the same owner, entered guilty pleas on November 22, 2021, for two violations each of the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act. The offences relate to deposits of deleterious substances by each of the farms in waters frequented by fish, thereby contravening subsection 36(3) of the Act.

In addition to the monetary penalty, the court ordered Delfresh Mushroom Farm Ltd. to provide a report to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) itemizing the steps it has taken to prevent deleterious deposits from entering waters frequented by fish.

The fines will be directed to the Government of Canada's Environmental Damages Fund. As a result of this conviction, the company names will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has created a free subscription service to help Canadians stay informed of what the Government of Canada is doing to protect our natural environment.

H.Q. Mushroom Farm Ltd.

In October 2015, ECCC environmental enforcement officers inspected H.Q. Mushroom Farm Ltd.'s farm. The officers found that effluent from the farm was entering waters frequented by fish and collected samples for analysis. The results of the analysis indicated that the effluent deposited was a deleterious substance and acutely lethal to fish.

Officers issued a Fisheries Act direction, which required H.Q. Mushroom Farm Ltd. to stop the deleterious deposits and to develop and implement a plan to prevent further deleterious deposits from entering waters frequented by fish.

In April 2016, officers returned to the farm to observe the steps taken and to collect effluent samples. Again, laboratory analysis indicated that the effluent being deposited into waters frequented by fish was acutely lethal to fish.

On September 23, 2020, charges were laid under 36(3) of the Fisheries Act.

Delfresh Mushroom Farm Ltd.

In August 2018, officers conducted an onsite Fisheries Act inspection of Delfresh Mushroom Farm Ltd. and collected samples from where the farm deposited effluent in waters frequented by fish. An analysis determined the effluent was deleterious and acutely lethal to fish.

Officers subsequently issued a Fisheries Act direction requiring that Delfresh Mushroom Farm Ltd. stop the deleterious deposit, and develop and implement a plan to prevent further deleterious deposits from entering waters frequented by fish.

In November 2018, officers returned to the farm for a follow-up inspection and observed brown effluent being deposited in a creek. Laboratory analysis of samples taken from the farm at this time confirmed the effluent was deleterious. The officers issued a second direction under the Fisheries Act.

On September 23, 2020, charges were laid under 36(3) of the Fisheries Act.

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