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Ice maker fined for ammonia release

CANADA: A British Columbia ice making company has been fined CA$350,000 (US$265,000) after ammonia, purged from its refrigeration system, found its way into the sewers.

In April 2014, Environment and Climate Change Canada received a dangerous goods incident report regarding dead fish in an unnamed creek near the Golden Ears Bridge in the City of Surrey.

Investigations by enforcement officers concluded that the ammonia solution purged from equipment in Arctic Glacier’s facility ended up in the City of Surrey’s storm sewer system, which outflows into the unnamed creek. Water samples taken near the Arctic Glacier facility and the storm sewer system were found to be harmful to fish.

Arctic Glacier Canada Inc pleaded guilty in the Provincial Court of British Columbia to violating subsection 36(3) of the Canadian Fisheries Act. In addition to the fine, the company was also ordered to conduct an independent environmental audit of their facility to implement a procedure for the storage and disposal of aqueous ammonia, to train their employees on ammonia management, and to upgrade as necessary their ammonia-based refrigeration system and related exhaust systems.

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