Lemon Creek update: Organic farming status not harmed; officials to be available for questions
Data Now Available for Public Review
Data collected during the incident response has been released to the public for review. This data includes all results from testing performed on water, sediment and air quality. This data is presented with its associated sampling plans, locations and assessment benchmarks. The data is available on the BC Ministry of Environment website at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/main/lemon-creek/
Kootenay Organic Growers Society Receives Testing Results
“Kootenay Organic Growers Society is very pleased to hear the results from testing of certified organic farms following the Lemon Creek fuel spill. None of these soil or crop samples showed any signs of contamination,” said KOGS president Judi Morton. “This was a very stressful time for local farmers. KOGS members are grateful for all the support we have received from our customers and other farmers’ groups. We also appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with Ministry of Agriculture to ensure a safe supply of food for local markets.”
Statement from Ministry of Agriculture
The Ministry of Agriculture received the results of soil and crop tissue tests conducted at 8 farms and two residential properties in the area. These samples were collected as part of the assessment program of agricultural land by SNC Lavalin-Environment – the onsite qualified professionals engaged to sample water, soil and crops. The sampling plan was created in conjunction with Kootenay Organic Growers Society and the Ministry of Agriculture.
The results of the soil analysis meet the standards set out by regulatory agencies for use of the soil for agricultural purposes. Results of crop tissue analysis indicated no contamination from Aviation Fuel Jet A-1. Results of the soil and crop tissue tests have been communicated to individual farms by the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture will continue to participate as needed in the recovery and monitoring process.”
Recovery Centre Moves to the Winlaw Community Hall
With the school year approaching, the Recovery Centre has re-located from Winlaw Elementary to the Winlaw Community Hall. The centre remains an important source of information and support for residents still recovering from the incident. Potable water, showers and wash cars will continue to be provided at the Recovery Centre; however, water will no longer be available in the Lemon Creek area.
IHA and MoE Staff On Site at Recovery Centre To Answer Questions
IHA and MoE staff will be on site at the Recovery Centre between 10am-12pm on Friday August 23rd to answer residents’ questions about health and environmental issues, including data explanation. Dates for next week will be determined soon.
Ongoing & Long Term Monitoring Plans Being Developed
Executive Flight Centre is committed to implementing a long-term monitoring plan for assessing the environmental impact to fish, wildlife, water and other criteria. The plan is currently being drafted for review and approval by MoE. This long-term monitoring plan will take effect following MoE’s declaration that the cleaning efforts have achieved the desired end points and that the project must transition from remediation to recovery and monitoring.
Ongoing Cleaning Efforts to Achieve MoE End Points
The MoE recently published their required end points. The practical reasons for assigning shoreline treatment end points are to:
assist the spill management team in selecting treatment objectives and techniques for a specified area or segment of shoreline before the response operation begins;
provide operations supervisors with a clear objective or target so they can tailor their activities towards a known point of completion; and
provide an inspection team with criteria and standards with which to evaluate the condition of the shoreline and the results of the treatment activities with respect to the response objectives
The response effort, which has totaleld over 20,000 hours of assessment and remediation to date, continues to focus on those areas identified by the SCAT Assessment and is working to ensure the end points are met to the satisfaction of MoE.
Flushing activities are being conducted by field crews with hoses and clean water. This allows responders to free from streambanks and vegetation to make it available for evaporation or collection.
This process is working and allows the product to either evaporate or be collected in absorbent booms – but may cause people in the vicinity to smell the jet fuel.
Quantum Murray is working in Lemon Creek using smaller boom setups, including both containment and absorbent booms and pads, to complete localized flushing operations on a reach-by-reach basis. Quantum Murray continues to take all appropriate steps to ensure the residual contamination is captured and removed to a licensed waste facility.
Public Observations & Reporting
Experts in Shoreline Cleanup & Assessment Technique have examined the entire river system and incorporated their assessment into Quantum Murray’s remediation plan. However, if you spot a site that exhibits consistent odour and/or visible sheen, identify the exact location (property address preferably) and forward the information, along with your name and contact information, to the BC Ministry of Environment at:
Ministry of Environment (Nelson Office): 250-354-6333 (8:30-4:30 PDT Monday-Friday).
Wells, Intakes and Water Quality
Water quality meets the Canadian Guidelines for Drinking Water and Interior Health Authority (IHA) has lifted all bans.
Residents are advised to flush their water systems in accordance with the Interior Health Authority’s recommended process outlined in the document “Procedure for Flushing a Domestic Water System after a Do Not Use Water Advisory” which is located at www.interiorhealth.ca. Copies of this advisory are available at the Recovery Centre.
IHA does not intend to sample private water supplies generally, although they will be collecting a set of audit samples to validate data they have received from other sources. Residents on private water supplies (wells and intakes) are advised of the following:
Water with a visible fuel sheen or odor should not be consumed – call IHA and they will assess, do a site visit if appropriate and arrange sampling if there appears to be a possible issue
Plumbing should be flushed prior to resumption of use
If, after flushing, residents are still concerned, they should contact IHA for advice
IHA is not recommending testing of private water supplies based on their risk assessment and the sample results they reviewed. If, however, residents want to have their water tested then IHA will recommend laboratories capable of doing that testing and IHA can assist them in interpreting the results. Environmental Health Officers are available to answer questions and provide advice and can be reached at 250-420-2220.
Air Quality & Odors
Atmospheric concentrations have been well within established government standards. Due to the hot weather, the jet fuel is readily evaporating (the preferred method of clean-up) but this does cause some odor. Interior Health advises everyone that smell alone does not constitute a health hazard.
The cause and circumstance surrounding the incident are still under investigation by Transport Canada and by EFC’s safety team. While the investigation continues, anyone who may have questions about claims must follow the procedure as set out by the insurance company. Leona Ashcroft, an insurance specialist in Nelson, has a special claims number you can contact her at:
Leona G. Ashcroft, CIP Branch Manager ClaimsPro Inc.,
A division of SCM Insurance Services
2032- 622 Front Street, Nelson, BC V1L 4B7
Toll free: 1 – 800-880-8384
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.scm-claimspro.ca
Questions should be directed to the following agencies:
Health and Water Issues (including drinking, wells, irrigation, livestock, etc)
Interior Health Authority – Health Protection: 250-420-2220 (8:30-4:30 MST Monday-Friday)
Spill Reporting and Environmental Issues (including observations of product or environmental impact)
Ministry of Environment (Nelson Office): 250-354-6333 (8:30-4:30 PDT Monday-Friday)
Fish & Wildlife Issues
Ministry of Environment (Nelson Office): 250-354-6333 (8:30-4:30 PDT Monday-Friday)
Crops and Agricultural Issues
Ministry of Agriculture: 1-888-221-7141 (8:30-4:30 PDT Monday-Friday)
Human Impacts and Recovery Services
Slocan Valley Recovery Centre: 250-226-7313
Regional District of Central Kootenay: 1-800-268-7325
Claims & Personal Losses
Leona Ashcroft: 1-800-880-8384
Executive Flight Centre
Executive Flight Centre is committed to keeping people informed. A dedicated website at www.lemoncreekresponse.ca continues to be a source for information and the place to leave comments and questions (email@example.com).
The Executive Flight Centre toll free information remains in operation. The number is 1-855-399-1694 and will be staffed daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please leave a message if you are calling outside those hours. EFC will return all phone calls and respond to all e-mails.