Canadian National Railway Co. (TSX:CNR) pleaded guilty Monday to charges arising from two major derailments and spills in the space of two days in the summer of 2005.
The railway agreed in provincial court to pay $1.8 million to resolve the cases in Wabamun, and Squamish B.C.
The company was facing charges under federal laws protecting fish and migratory birds.
In the case of the Alberta spill, the company was facing a charge of failing to properly remediate a spill.
Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner said he hopes the court case sends a strong message.
“It’s something that’s clearly unacceptable and I hope the message was received, not only by CN but also by any other organization that’s operating in Alberta, that we expect them not only to respect our laws but to live up to them,” Renner said.
Most of the money will go to environmental and emergency response programs in Alberta and British Columbia.
“I think that is the legacy of these incidents. An increased focus and an increased ability to respond, not just on CN’s part, but on the part of many other people who were affected by it,” said Jim Feeny, a company spokesman.
Of the two spills, the Wabamun one was more serious.