Irving Pulp and Paper in New Brunswick fined $3.5 million for dumping effluent

Irving Pulp and Paper has been ordered to pay $3.5 million in penalties for discharging improperly treated effluent into the Saint John River in southern New Brunswick.

Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a statement Monday saying the fine is one of the largest penalties to be levied in Canada as a result of an environmental violation.

In a previous plea deal struck with the Crown, the company agreed to plead guilty to three charges in provincial court.

The company has admitted its mill near the Reversing Falls tourist attraction in Saint John failed to meet standards under the federal Fisheries Act.

However, the Crown and federal authorities acknowledged the river was not harmed by the discharges over a two-year period, and no fish were killed.

Federal officials say Irving Pulp and Paper has also agree to build a new effluent treatment facility over the next five years.

As well, the company will provide $1.16 million to the University of New Brunswick, where the Canadian Rivers Institute will conduct research related to the conservation of Atlantic salmon in New Brunswick.