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Teck Resources fined 14 million for fisheries act violations at coal operation

CALGARY — Teck Resources Ltd. says it will pay $1.425 million after pleading guilty in a B.C. Provincial Court Thursday to three counts of violating the Fisheries Act.The court ordered the Vancouver-based mining giant to pay the fine to the Environmental Damages Fund, which will be used for fish protection and conservation in the East Kootenay region of B.C.Teck Resources has also been ordered to post information on the conviction to its website, and it will be added to the Environmental Offenders Registry where it already appears for three other fishery act violations.Thursday’s conviction relates to the 2014 discovery by federal enforcement officers that Teck was releasing effluent harmful to fish into Line Creek, a waterway designated as having high fisheries value.The investigation found numerous dead fish in the Line Creek watershed, including bull trout which is identified as a species of special concern in the area, as a result of the discharge from Teck’s water treatment facility.Teck said it launched an extensive investigation after the incident, and has implemented numerous measures to prevent a recurrence, including improved monitoring and incident response programs, additional process controls and creation of an effluent buffer pond.The company said it took full responsibility for the fish deaths, which it believes was caused by high levels of nitrite, ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and phosphorous unintentionally discharged into the water during commissioning of the facility.Officers were alerted to the issue after reports of dead fish in ponds near Teck’s Line Creek coal operation, which sits 25 kilometres north of Sparwood in southeastern B.C. read more

Paralympic gold medalist shares tearful video of being left stranded on train

A Paralympic gold medalist was left in tears on a South Western Railway train after the guard failed to provide a ramp so she could leave in her wheelchair.Sophie Christiansen filmed her ordeal and posted it on Twitter. The video shows a fellow commuter holding the train doors open for her as she waited for someone to let her off the train.Eventually, a guard came and brought her a ramp. She said: “I went home and I cried. It finally hit me that society is just not going to change to make services truly accessible. I will have to accept discrimination all my life.”The champion horserider, who was travelling from London to Godalming, said she had made the train company aware she would need a ramp to get off when she arrived at her destination.She told the BBC: “It’s always the general public helping me; I don’t know what I’d do without them.”Without the help I probably would’ve ended up in Portsmouth at the end of the line because there is no real way for me to block the door to stop the train from moving.”Ms Christiansen has been campaigning for some time for trains to have automated ramps so disabled people can disembark. The train company said it was investigating the incident “as a priority” and it was reviewing the process “to make sure this doesn’t happen again”.Rail Delivery Group, which represents UK train operators, said it was working to bring “thousands of new, more accessible carriages on track and speeding up the process for passengers booking assistance.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more