Sherritt fined 1 million for coal mine discharges under the Fisheries Act

CALGARY — The second coal-mining company in four months is being hit with a six-figure penalty for polluting incidents that impacted fish in tributaries of the Athabasca River east of Jasper National Park in Alberta.On Tuesday, Sherritt International Corp. (TSX:S) agreed to pay a fine of $1 million after pleading guilty in provincial court to three counts under the federal Fisheries Act.The Toronto-based company was charged five years ago due to incidents where wastewater considered harmful to fish was allowed to flow from its open pit Coal Valley Mine about 120 kilometres east of Jasper National Park into ecologically significant habitat for rainbow trout.In June, Prairie Mines & Royalty Ltd. — formerly known as Coal Valley Resources — was handed almost $4.5 million in federal and provincial penalties after it also pleaded guilty to polluting tributaries of the Athabasca River.Prairie Mines was charged after a catastrophic break in an earthen berm at its Obed Mountain coal mine about 50 kilometres east of the park allowed an estimated 670 million litres of waste water to escape into the river system in October 2013.Environment and Climate Change Canada said Tuesday the Sherritt charges were laid following an inspection in August 2012 of the coal mine located about 90 kilometres south of the town of Edson.The discharges were ordered halted but the ministry subsequently discovered that two other discharges had occurred in 2011.“The waste water ponds at the Coal Valley Mine collected surface water that was treated with a chemical flocculant to remove suspended sediment before being discharged,” it said in a news release.“Both suspended sediment and an excess of flocculant can be toxic to fish.”Most of the $1-million fine is to be assigned to the ministry’s environmental damages fund to be directed to programs intended to benefit the natural environment.Sherritt investor relations director Joe Racanelli said the company installed new sediment control systems and initiated better management practices after the charges were laid.He said the company is taking responsibility for the discharges even though it sold the coal mine in 2014.“We do not own the Coal Valley Mine but we were operators and owners at the time so we are responsible because there was a non-compliance issue. Sherritt takes these kinds of issues very seriously,” he said.He wouldn’t comment when asked if the amount of the fine was negotiated in return for the guilty plea.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter. read more

Wilden Pumps online simulator and PTFE diaphragms increase efficiency of airoperated dual

first_imgWilden Pump and Engineering has introduced two products that add greater efficiency to its Advanced Series of air-operated double-diaphragm pumps. The PX Simulator is a free online tool that allows operators to easily determine the optimal balance of flow rate and efficiency for any application. Using inlet, head and flow parameters of the application plus the pump model, the simulator quickly computes the air inlet pressure and Efficiency Management System (EMS) setting that will yield the greatest efficiency. The operator simply turns the dial on the pump’s Pro-Flo X air distribution system to that setting to achieve the lowest power consumption.The online simulator saves the operator time by eliminating a series of manual calculations previously needed to achieve the best results from the air distribution system.Recently awarded a US patent, the Pro-Flo X Efficiency Management System (EMS) features an integrated control dial to select the efficiency point and flow rate that best suits the application. In addition to lower operating cost, benefits include longer pump life and lower maintenance requirements.New full-stroke PTFE (Teflon) diaphragms are now available for Wilden Advanced Series air-operated double-diaphragm pumps. By allowing increased product displacement per stroke, the full-stroke diaphragms produce greater flow rates and higher efficiency than reduced stroke diaphragms.Because they use the same shaft and piston combinations as the company’s standard rubber and TPE diaphragms, they can be easily retrofitted to existing pumps with no extra components. The new full-stroke PTFE diaphragms are available for Wilden 1, 1.5, 2 and 3″ pumps.Wilden Pump and Engineering (www.pumpsg.com) is a world leader in design and manufacturing of air-operated double-diaphragm pumps, and a member of Dover Corporation’s Pump Solutions Group (PSG).last_img read more