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VANCOUVER — Teck Trail Operations says the company’s entire domestic piping system at its plant in Trail, B.C., is now being checked after a chemical spill last week reached the Columbia River.
Up to 25,000 litres of a high pH solution accidentally entered a domestic sewer line on Tuesday. The line, which runs to the regional district’s sewage treatment facility, discharges to the river.
The incident is not expected to have a long-term effect on fish or the environment, said the mining company, which has notified B.C.’s Ministry of Environment and Environment Canada.
“We do take this incident very seriously and we will be conducting a very thorough investigation,” Richard Deane, a Teck spokesman, said in an interview Sunday.
“We will be working with the regional district to determine exactly how this occurred, and also through environmental assessment work will determine any impact there might have been.”
Mr. Deane said there is no human health impact as a result of the spill. Trail’s drinking water comes upstream of the Teck plant, which is owned and operated by Teck Metals Ltd., a subsidiary of Teck Resources Ltd. A Ministry of Environment spokesman said the ministry is aware of the incident and is working to make sure all the necessary steps are taken.
But Dieter Bogs, the mayor of Trail, said the community is always concerned when a spill occurs. He said he’s been told there will be no long-term effect on fish or aquatic life and added he’s hoping that’s the case.
“This particular one did not go directly in the river, but went through our treatment facility. So it was neutralized from that perspective,” he said in an interview.
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