Shell Canada fined C$825,000 for 2013 refinery odour leak

Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:17pm EST
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CALGARY, Alberta Nov 24 (Reuters) - The Ontario government on Tuesday ordered Shell Canada, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, to pay C$825,000 ($620,487.36) in fines for discharging a contaminating odour from its Sarnia refinery in 2013.

In a statement, the Ontario Ministry for Environment and Climate Change said Shell had pleaded guilty to one offense of permitting a discharge of an odour containing mercaptan, a foul-smelling gas.

The Shell Sarnia Manufacturing Centre is located in Corunna, Ontario, and on Jan. 11, 2013, employees discovered a leak from a line containing mercaptan, which flowed into an on-site ditch that empties into the refinery's storm sewer system.

The odour affected a number of people in the nearby Aamjiwnaang First Nation, with several complaining of sore eyes and throats, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

Shell was fined C$500,000 for the offense, plus a victim surcharge of C$125,000 and ordered to donate C$200,000 to the Aamjiwnaang First Nation.

($1 = 1.3296 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Nia Williams; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)