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Hydroelectric company charged with dumping hydraulic oil

Hydromega Services Inc. constructed and commissioned four hydroelectric generating stations on the Kapuskasing River between 2010 and 2013.
The Kapuskasing River is a tributary of the Mattagami River.

Hydromega Services Inc. has pleaded guilty to one offence and was fined $120,000 for discharging hydraulic oil into the Kapuskasing River, which may impair the quality of the water, contrary to the Ontario Water Resources Act (OWRA).

Hydromega Services Inc. specializes in the development, construction and commissioning of electricity generating facilities.

Between 2010 and 2013, the company facilitated the development, construction and commissioning of four run-of-the-river hydroelectric generating facilities on the Kapuskasing River. One of these facilities is the Big Beaver Falls Generating Station.

On Apr. 10, 2013, the ministry received a report of a spill of approximately five to 100 litres of hydraulic oil into the Kapuskasing River from the facility.

Ministry staff attended the site and observed indications of oil in the river downstream of the containment area. At that time, it appeared that the amount of oil spilled was more than had been initially reported.

The company later reported that the discharge likely occurred after a turbine was shut down for service on Mar. 31, 2013.

Approximately 1,700 litres of oil was recovered from the Kapuskasing River, and as much as approximately 701 litres of oil could have escaped downstream of the facility.

The Kapuskasing River provides habitat to 21 species of fish, as well as a number of commercial fur-bearing animals such as beaver, otter, mink, marten, weasel and muskrat.

The matter was referred to the ministry’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch and following an investigation charges were laid.

On Dec. 14, 2016, Hydromega Services Inc. was convicted of one offence, was fined $120,000 plus a victim fine surcharge of $30,000 and was given 60 days to pay the fine.