The owner of two Abbotsford mushroom farms, who has previously been in trouble with authorities several times, now faces several charges in court for allegedly polluting local creeks.
Huu Quang Quach, H.Q. Mushroom Farm and Delfresh Mushroom Farm are all named in charges under the Fisheries Act.
According to the provincial court database, Quach and H.Q. Mushroom Farm have been charged with two counts of depositing a deleterious substance – in October 2015 and April 2016 – as well as failing to comply with a condition or direction in November 2015.
Quach and Delfresh Mushroom Farm have been charged with four counts of depositing a deleterious substance in August and November 2018, and failing to comply with a condition or a direction in August 2018.
Quach is scheduled to make his first appearance on all the charges Dec. 17 in Abbotsford provincial court.
Quach was fined $1,500 in April 2016 after complaints were received about pollution in two different creeks in the Bradner area, where the two farms are located.
The Ministry of Environment and Fisheries and Oceans Canada were called in to investigate after city bylaw staff checked on water conditions in Bradner Creek.
According to news reports at that time, staff observed a pipe from Delfresh Mushrooms discharging into a ditch that flowed into Bradner Creek south of the property on 58th Street.
That was deemed in violation of the city’s Waterways Protection Bylaw and a $500 fine was issued. The pipe was subsequently repaired, according to the city.
The city was later notified by the Ministry of Environment of another complaint at Beaver Creek near H.Q. Mushroom Farm Ltd., which operates on the opposite side of 58th Street from Delfresh.
At H.Q. Mushrooms, staff found two bylaw infractions – an uncovered and unlined storage for waste materials “was leaching into a water system” leading to Beaver Creek, according to the city. Two $500 fines were issued on April 22.
The city ended up levying 15 separate fines totalling $7,600 against the two operations, and putting in place a stop-work order.
The Abbotsford News revealed in September 2016 that the two mushrooms farms had been reprimanded by WorkSafeBC in the previous year and a half for safety issues.
H.Q. had also been issued a $8,380 fine in 2014 for safety issues.
And in 2008, the provincial court ordered H.Q. to pay a $10,000 fine for several federal fisheries offences, according to a news release issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada at that time.
– with files from Tyler Olsen, Abbotsford News