Soo Today reported that Canadian steel maker Algoma Steel is currently facing two provincial offence charges related to an alleged release of untreated wastewater into the St Marys River. On 9 February 2022, a first hearing took place at Sault Ste. Marie’s provincial offences courtroom & the matter has been adjourned to 8 June 2022. According to court documents, the company faces one charge under the Ontario Water Resources Act and another under the Environmental Protection Act.Both charges stem from an incident that occurred on 18 October 2019. The former relates to an untreated wastewater discharge that may impair the quality of the St Marys River. The latter relates to the same discharge failing what’s referred to as an acute lethality test, in which a population of rainbow trout is used to gauge the toxicity of wastewater that enters the St Mary’s River. None of the allegations have been proven in court but the charges are based upon evidence collected by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Ontario’s Environmental Compliance Report from 2019 shows four separate exceedances for Algoma Steel on 18 October 2019.According to provincial regulations, all facilities regulated by the Ontario Water Resources Act and Environmental Protection Act are required to report their exceedances of pollution limits that apply to their air emissions and wastewater discharges.The St Marys River is considered an ‘area of concern’ by various levels of government and local stakeholders that collaborate on environmental mitigation efforts in the Great Lakes region. In 1987, the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between Canada and the United States officially designated 43 areas of concern. The responsibility for the St. Marys River area is shared bi-nationally, assisted by the Bi-national Public Advisory Council’s Remedial Action Plan.