Vale N.L. going to trial on illegal dumping allegation

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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A request made by lawyers representing Vale Newfoundland and Labrador in a case of alleged illegal dumping into Anaktalak Bay in Labrador has been denied.

Vale Newfoundland and Labrador has been accused of illegally releasing “acutely lethal effluent” into the waters near the Voisey’s Bay mine site. The nickel-copper-cobalt mine first passed federal environmental review in 1997 and Vale recently signed a deal with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for an expansion of the mine. — File photo courtesy of Vale

The pre-trial request was for further information on the details behind the charges against Vale Newfoundland and Labrador.

While Judge Jim Walsh denied the ask, laying out his reasoning with supporting case law, he did amend one of three charges against the company for clarity’s sake.

The amendment will, he suggested, address the concerns the case might go — as Vale lawyer Michael Rosenberg had suggested in arguments — “wandering all over the shop,” being unfair to the company and potentially extremely costly to all parties.

The new charges still allege Vale Newfoundland and Labrador illegally dumped waste into the bay near its Voisey’s Bay mine, failed to take reasonable measures at the time to protect fish and fish habitat in the area, and failed to provide a relevant environmental monitoring report.

The illegal dumping is said to have taken place between Oct. 4 and Oct. 31, 2011.

The lawyers representing Vale — Rosenberg and Doug Hamilton — appeared for the pretrial decision via court call.

The lawyers have requested a video conference for another pretrial matter, a review of expected witnesses, scheduled to take place May 5.

The trial is expected to begin shortly after, potentially on May 7.

Geographic location: Voisey

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Recent comments

  • Brad
    April 30, 2014 - 11:39

    The same thing will happen in Placentia Bay in a couple of years and it will be the same thing all over again. The fact that they allowed Vale to put a pipeline in the bay is disgusting and very unintelligent. We deal with politicians too stupid and egotistical to realize they are idiots.

  • California Pete from NFLD
    April 29, 2014 - 19:22

    It's all about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Corporate Psycho
    April 29, 2014 - 19:05

    Look at what Charelene Johnson let them do to Sany Pond.m

  • They will come to know good.
    April 29, 2014 - 16:42

    What is the ammendment? "he did amend one of three charges against the company for clarity’s sake" What is the ammendment? For clarity's sake...unlawfully, illegally, depositing dumping deleterious effluent substance VERSUS ... failure to take measures to protect fish & habitat or failure to report a deposit of deleterious substance or failure to provide a relevant environmental monitoring report. Sounds like Vale a failure ammendment and is getting fast-tracked to being wristslapped before anyone can get the chance to marvel at the lightness of the verdict, or systemic nature of their global destruction. What is the ammendment?