Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued hefty fines to the University of British Columbia and CIMCO Refrigeration for releasing ammonia-laden water into a tributary of the Fraser River in Vancouver. According to a written statement, UBC was fined $1.2 million and CIMCO $800,000 stemming from a complaint about an ammonia odour at an outfall ditch connected to Booming Ground Creek in Pacific Spirit Regional Park on Sept. 12, 2014. The ministry says UBC and CIMCO were fixing the refrigeration system at Thunderbird Arena at the university's Vancouver campus when they purged residual ammonia vapours from the system into a storm drain that flowed into a ditch and then the creek.
Environment Canada has decided not to lay charges against Vale for potentially dangerous run-off leaking from its Sudbury slag piles. But the mining company is currently installing a new system for controlling the slag seepage, work it says is unrelated to the government investigation. Environment Canada refused an interview with CBC, but said in a statement that it began investigating contaminated water coming from the Sudbury slag pile after a complaint from the public in 2012.