UPDATE: Resiliency Centre for Slocan; showers/toilets/etc available today
Breaking News – Resiliency Centre Open to Residents-
The Community Resiliency Centre at the Winlaw Elementary School is now operational. The purpose of this Resiliency Centre is to support the local residents who have been impacted by the fuel spill by providing a “one stop shop” for accessing water, showers, lavatories and disaster relief personnel.
Facilities will be open to residents on Monday August 5th. Hours of operation for shower and toilet facilities is 7am-9pm; the site will be staffed between 9am-5pm.
Volunteer Coordinator Seeking Volunteers
Volunteer Coordinator, John Wittmayer, is organizing volunteers to assist with the response. Volunteer duties include helping to distribute information throughout the area and assisting with monitoring the water stations. If you are interested in volunteering, please e-mail Slocan.Valley.Volunteers@gmail.com, or call John at 250.226.7435, and provide your name and contact information.
Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique (SCAT)
Executive Flight Centre has engaged Polaris Applied Sciences from Kirkland, Washington to conduct a Shoreline Clean-up & Assessment Technique, or SCAT. Leading the SCAT team is Polaris Principal, Dr. Elliott Taylor, a world-renowned expert in spill clean-up operations. The assessment is ongoing and continues to provide valuable information which is helping to clean-up the waterways by providing operational focus to the response teams and prioritizing where we focus our attention.
Containment and Remediation
Quantum Murray is progressing with the clean-up efforts. The response effort has over 50 responders operating seven days per week and will continue to do so until the project is completed.
Light “flushing” activities are being conducted by responders to free product (Jet Fuel A1 / without additives) from streambanks and vegetation to make it available for collection. Nearly 1000m of containment boom remains deployed throughout the Slocan river system and it is capturing any free flowing product. The product is being skimmed off the water into a vacuum truck and removed to a licensed waste facility. In areas where soil is impacted, the soil is being removed and trucked to a separate licensed waste facility. A significant amount of contaminated water and soil has been recovered.
Quantum Murray requests that, for safety and health reasons, people stay off the river and don’t collect samples. This can also delay the clean-up operation.
Water Quality Monitoring and Testing
SNC Lavalin experts continue to collect water samples, sediment samples, and fish and wildlife from the impacted water courses. Wildlife mortalities to date have been collected and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
Water quality test results are being sent to the Interior Health Authority to assist in making a decision on when the DO NOT USE WATER ORDER can be lifted. The DO NOT USE ORDER is causing hardship for many residents, but is in effect to protect your health. The DO NOT USE ORDER means 1) shut off your water system to prevent it from drawing in contaminants, and 2) do not use water from Lemon Creek, Slocan River or Kootenay River (to Brilliant Dam) for drinking, washing, watering livestock and gardens and recreational use. We are working to have the order lifted as soon as possible however public health and safety remain our top concerns.
A recreational ban includes all swimming and the use of watercraft and boats (Transport Canada Vessel Restriction Advisory) due to both the public safety hazard and the presence of response teams and containment booms throughout the river systems.
Agricultural Land Testing
SNC Lavalin experts, in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture, is collecting vegetation and soil samples to support the program of assessment for agricultural land. The Kootenay Organic Growers Society is also working closely with the various agencies on its members behalf.
Air Quality & Odors
Responders equipped with gas monitors have been testing the air quality throughout the area of potential and observed influence. To date, atmospheric concentrations have been within established government standards. Vapor and odor continue to dissipate, however, the smell of jet fuel is still occasionally apparent.
Well Water & Testing
Interior Health Authority advises that well water, in general, is not affected by the DO NOT USE ORDER. However, shallow wells close to the creek or rivers, particularly those in gravel/sandy soils, may be impacted.
Residents concerned about the safety and quality of their well water should contact the Interior Health Authority at 250.420.2220. Environmental Health Officers will be able to provide direction and advice on what to do and answers questions on whether your well water needs testing.
Ask for Identification
Interior Health officials report that some residents have been contacted by individuals asking if they would like to have their water and air quality tested. THESE INDIVIDUALS DO NOT WORK FOR INTERIOR HEALTH AUTHORITY. Interior Health is only responding to inquiries and not calling residents. All Interior Health Authority representatives will have proper photo identification.
The Public Eye
We want your help identifying locations in the creek and river where fuel is present, or fish and wildlife impacts are observed. If you spot a site, identify the exact location and forward the information along with your name and contact to the Executive Flight Centre at email@example.com (or call the toll free number at 1-855-399-1694).
The information will be forwarded to Quantum Murray which will dispatch a response clean-up crew to the site. This is particularly important for private landowners who may be required to grant access to the river from their property.
Potable Water Locations
Potable water is available at the fire halls in Winlaw, Passmore and on Kennedy Road at Lemon Creek Lodge. The tanks are being filled three times a day. Due to the vandalism at Crescent Valley, the tank has been removed. RCMP continue to investigate last week’s vandalism of the Crescent Valley water tank and anyone with information should contact their local detachment.
Losses and Claims
The cause and circumstance surrounding the incident are still under investigation by Transport Canada and by our safety team. While the investigation continues, anyone who may have questions about losses or claims must follow the procedure as set out by the insurance company. A new special claims number has been established. It is 1-800-880-8384.
Executive Flight Centre is committed to keeping you informed. Our dedicated website at www.lemoncreekresponse.ca is your source for information and the place to leave comments and questions (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Executive Flight Centre toll free information line is now in operation. The number is 1-855-399-1694 and will be staffed daily from 8:00am-4:00pm. Please leave us a message if you are calling outside those hours. We will return all phone calls and respond to all e-mails. As well, staff from EFC will be in the area to monitor progress and respond to concerns. We know how important it is to have someone to talk to.
Questions? Need more information? Here are the key contacts to call:
Executive Flight Centre: email@example.com
Response website: www.lemoncreekresponse.ca
Toll free: 1-855-399-1694 (staffed 8:00am-4:00pm PDT)
Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK): 1-800-268-7325
Ministry of Environment (Nelson Office): 250-354-6333 (Mon-Fri)
Interior Health Authority- Health Protection: 250-420-2220
Ministry of Agriculture: 1-888-221-7141
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure: 250-387-3198
Claims inquiries: 1-800-880-8384
Media Inquiries: Jonathan Lok (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Information updates will be posted on a regular basis. Thank-you.