A month after jet fuel spilled into Lemon Creek in the Slocan Valley, the company responsible for the tanker truck has demobilized its clean-up crew and is closing its recovery centre today.
Having completed the work prescribed by the shoreline cleanup and assessment technique specialists, Quantum Murray has demobilized its equipment and most of its personnel this week.
The Ministry of Environment is assessing the river system to determine if end points have been met, or if additional remediation efforts are required at this time, said Jon Lok, information officer with the Slocan Valley mult-agency recovery team.
“Several local staff remain to monitor containment booms left at the mouth of Lemon Creek and to collect any residual product which flushes out of the stream. Quantum Murray continues to take all appropriate steps to ensure the residual contamination is captured and removed to a licensed waste facility,” he said.
This week, the Ministry of Environment and Interior Health were set up at the Recovery Centre established in Winlaw shortly after the spill to field questions about health and environmental issues. On Friday, this centre closed its doors leaving residents still using potable water and showers making other arrangements with the recovery manager.
Data collected during the Lemon Creek fuel spill response has been released to the public for review. This data is presented with its associated sampling plans, locations and assessment benchmarks and is available on the BC Ministry of Environment website.
Results from all Interior Health samples collected to date show no traces of fuel or fuel components.
“This data further supports our assessment that there is no undue risk to human health from surface or groundwater in the area,” said Tracy Watson, communications officer for Interior Health. “Interior Health will continue to monitor to determine whether further testing is required.”
The cause and circumstance surrounding the incident are still under investigation by Transport Canada. While the investigation continues, anyone with questions about claims can contact Leona Ashcroft of CIP branch manager ClaimsPro Inc. in Nelson toll free at 1-800-880-8384.
Meanwhile, a class action lawsuit filed against the Province of BC and Executive Flight Centre by affected Slocan Valley residents goes ahead. Austin Greengrass, who is part of that lawsuit, said independent tests aren’t as independent as they claim to be.
He is also frustrated that any level of contamination is considered acceptable: “Bottom line — this was the finest water to be found anywhere and now it still smells and tastes of jet fuel,” he said on Facebook. “Sorry, not good enough.”