Lafarge Canada Inc. has been fined $125,000 by the B.C. Provincial Court for an illegal discharge of dust from its plant in Richmond, British Columbia, according to reports from local press.
“On Feb. 17, 2007, Lafarge was operating machinery in its plant, located at 7611 No. 9 Road in Richmond, B.C., and was blowing cement powder from a cement mill into one of its storage silos,” said Ray Robb, regulation and enforcement division manager with Metro Vancouver.
“The silo overfilled with cement powder and the overflow was forced out through a vent on the top of the silo, bypassing pollution control equipment.”
Lafarge failed to follow its own standard operating procedures.
The company didn’t check to make sure the cement powder was flowing to the correct silo.
An alarm designed to initiate a shut-down in the event of high levels of cement powder inside the silo also failed.
“As a result, an unknown amount of cement powder escaped from the overfilled silo,” said Robb.
“Prevailing winds carried the powder to Shelter Island Marina, about one kilometre away. Cement powder settled on to boats and other surfaces, mixed with rain and caused extensive property damage.”