Area director shares fuel spill concerns

I am grateful to the regional district for holding a public information meeting regarding the disastrous jet fuel spill in Lemon Creek.

As RDCK director for Area H (Slocan Valley), I am grateful to the regional district for holding a public information meeting in Winlaw regarding the disastrous jet fuel spill in Lemon Creek.

Thanks to regional fire chief Terry Swan for arranging to have all the government agencies involved and the Executive Flight Centre senior vice-president at the meeting to answer the residents’ questions.

Also a thank you to regional district vice-chair Hillary Elliott for representing board chair John Kettle and to RDCK Area I director Andy Davidoff for representing residents impacted by the fuel spill and for his support in this disastrous situation. Thank you to our MP Alex Atamanenko and MLA Katrine Conroy for their support and attendance at the meeting to hear the residents’ concerns.

I realize that not all the questions were answered to the residents’ satisfaction, but commitments were made by the different agencies and Executive Flight Centre, and as Area H representative I intend to ensure that they are followed through to their conclusion.

There was direct contact information provided to residents from the different agencies at the meeting including Executive Flight Centre. I would encourage residents to contact the agencies directly with their concerns.

RDCK fire chief Terry Swan made a commitment to assist residents with issues regarding the lingering smell of jet fuel in their homes and investigate the possibility of providing assistance in relocation. I will ask the regional district to post all the contact information on its website (rdck.bc.ca).

For residents without Internet service I will ask RDCK to have this information available by calling 250-352-6665 or 1-800-268-7325.

I echo all the concerns expressed by residents at the meeting and personally feel that our pristine Slocan River has been severely damaged and violated by this fuel spill. I commit to work with the residents, the government agencies, and Executive Flight Centre to mitigate the impact of the fuel spill, realizing it may take years to restore the river to its original state.

If anyone has any problems or concerns in having their issues addressed by the different government agencies please contact me and I will follow up on your behalf. My email address is wpopoff(at)rdck.bc.ca and telephone number is 250-359-7455.

Walter Popoff, RDCK Director Area H

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