EDMONTON – An Alberta court has fined the company that owns the largest beef processing plant in Canada $80,000 for breaking an environmental law.

A provincial court judge has ruled that Cargill Limited failed to immediately report intentionally diluted wastewater samples in 2012 from the company’s High River plant.

According to the agreed statements of facts, an employee tampered with three treatment wastewater samples containing phosphorus before they were sent to an external lab for analysis.

The tampering made the phosphorus content of the samples too low.

Phosphorus can cause harm to aquatic life, but Alberta Environment says there is no evidence that happened in this case.

The employee was confronted by Cargill and has since resigned from the company.

Earlier this year Cargill said the test results were compromised during a time when its waste water treatment system was being improved.