April 26, 2006

Gemtec found guilty of polluting river
by CBC News

The company hired to close Moncton’s city dump in the 1990s has been found guilty of violating the federal Fisheries Act.

Gemtec and chief engineer Robert Lutes were convicted Wednesday on four charges of allowing contaminants to leak into the Petitcodiac River.

Judge Yvette Finn says that while Gemtec didn’t create the toxic mess left at the old Moncton landfill, the Fredericton company did not properly contain it.

“I’m very pleased with the verdict,” said Environment Canada investigator Gary Greene. “We certainly wouldn’t have brought this case forward if we hadn’t felt we had a very strong case and the evidence to support it.”

A sentencing hearing is set for June 19. The maximum fine for a first offence is $300,000.

The city dump operated between 1971 and 1992. The charges were laid in 2002, following a yearlong investigation.

The City of Moncton was also charged, and pleaded guilty in 2003. The city was fined $35,000 and ordered to come up with a plan to keep more contaminants from leaching into the river.