Will Statoil’s “creative sentence” prevent illegal water use?

Will Statoil’s “creative sentence” prevent illegal water use?

12/9/2011

 
Norwegian giant Statoil has pled guilty to breaching the terms of a Water Actlicense, joining Suncor and Syncrude as the third oil sands operator to be convicted under provincial legislation in the last three years.  Statoil’s $190,000 fine  is the lowest of the three but it is the leading case for Alberta’s creative sentencing program.  Suncor got hit with a straight fine.  Syncrude saw a mix of fines and creative sentencing, but the case was a mix of federal and provincial laws.  Statoil was convicted on one provincial charge and 97% of the fine is going to provincial creative sentencing.
 
Creative sentencing has huge potential to repair environmental damage and prevent future harms. Fines to general revenue may not help the environment, or worse, may just be the cost of doing business. Yet exactly ten years ago, the ELC found that Alberta’s program could be more  under our existing laws.  Are we there yet?
 
Read “Will Statoil’s ‘creative sentence’ prevent illegal water use?” on the ELC blog.
 
 


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