Teck Trail Operations from Bay Avenue. (Black Press Media file photo)

No health, safety risk after acidic spill into Columbia River: Teck

The acid, which hasn’t been identified, was diverted to an on-site reservoir

The British Columbia Environment Ministry says an acidic solution spilled into the Columbia River from a fertilizer plant in southeastern B.C. but pH levels in the water returned to normal limits within hours.

The spill occurred early Tuesday at the Teck Resources Ltd. plant in Trail, B.C., and a statement from the ministry says the fertilizer plant was shut down.

The acid, which hasn’t been identified, was diverted to an on-site reservoir and the ministry says the liquid will be neutralized before being released.

A statement from Teck describes the spill as a “low pH incident” at an outfall and the plant has since been reopened.

The company says authorities including Emergency Management BC and the Ministry of Environment were immediately notified.

READ MORE: Dam sale boosts Q3 profit for Teck Resources, but lower commodity prices sting

Based on initial assessment, Teck says the acidic fluid does not pose a health or safety risk to people, fish or wildlife other than short-term impacts on aquatic life at the outfall.

“There is not expected to be any long-term impact on fish or the environment given the duration of the incident and the nature of the discharge,” says the Teck statement.

Teck says a third-party, independent environmental impact assessment will be done.

The release from the Environment Ministry says an environmental emergency response officer will also monitor the situation and provide updates when available.

The fertilizer plant is located in the same complex as Teck’s lead and zinc smelting operations.

The Canadian Press

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