Irving Pulp & Paper to pay $3.5 million for Saint John River pollution charges

Irving Pulp & Paper said it will pay $3.5 million in penalties after pleading guilty Tuesday to three charges of effluent discharge into the fish-bearing Saint John River.

The company said in a release that its mill near the Reversing Falls tourist attraction in Saint John failed to meet standards under the federal Fisheries Act.

The proposed court agreement would also require the installation of a multi-million-dollar effluent treatment facility as an operating condition.

Irving says federal authorities acknowledged there was no evidence fish were killed by the discharge.

Some of the penalties will go towards Atlantic salmon conservation and research.

Mark Mosher, vice president of Irving Pulp & Paper, said in a news release said that the decision marks a ``tough day'' for the company's 375 employees, writing that ``safeguarding the environment has been and continues to be our top priority.''