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2 companies charged in 2013 coal tailings pond spill: AER

Obed Mountain Coal Mine in relation to Hinton and Edmonton. Global News

EDMONTON – The Alberta Energy Regulator says two companies have been charged over a huge spill from a coal tailings pond that fouled tributaries that feed the Athabasca River.

An estimated 670 million litres of waste water gushed out of a broken earth berm at the Obed Mountain mine near Hinton on Oct. 31, 2013.

READ MORE: ‘Major failure’ of coal mine pit releases waste water into Athabasca River

Coal Valley Resources Inc. and Sherritt International Corp. (TSX:S) face six charges under the Environmental Protection Act, Public Lands Act and Water Act.

The companies are to appear in Hinton provincial court on on Jan. 20.

READ MORE: First Nation angry with province’s response to coal mine spill

At the time of the spill, Coal Valley operated the mine as a subsidiary of Sherritt.

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An Environment Canada database said shortly afterwards that the spill contained damaging compounds such as arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead and manganese.

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