Yukon railway fined $100K for fish habitat damage

The White Pass and Yukon Route Railway must pay $100,000 for damaging fish habitat in Bennett Lake, which is near Carcross, Yukon.

After some washouts along the track in 2007, the historic railway had dumped some material into the lake while it was doing repairs. The company was warned the material was considered harmful to fish habitat.

The company submitted a cleanup plan in 2008, which showed that railway track repairs could be made without dumping harmful material into the lake.

But one year later, a fisheries inspector filmed workers dumping 24 rail carts full of dirt, silt and stones directly into the lake. Tests showed sediment levels were lethal to fish and were more than 100 times the legal limit.

The company apologized for its actions and agreed to pay the fine. Most of the money will be paid directly into a fund for fish habitat reclamation projects in the territory.

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