On Sept. 6, the City of Trail announced it would not participate in a Friday meeting arranged by International Raw Materials (IRM) regarding the two recent sulphuric acid spills, “as the original purpose and outcomes that would have hopefully come from the meeting can no longer be achieved.”
“The original intent of the meeting was to have a formal debriefing with IRM, Teck, Emergency Services and other parties to discuss actions taken to ensure that incidents of this nature will not occur in the future,” said Mayor Mike Martin in a Thursday news release.
“Several parties have now indicated they are not able to or are unwilling to participate in the meeting. This shift in participation will not allow the remaining parties to conduct a proper debriefing. There may be a time and a place to hold a meeting like this in the future, but at this point, with various legal concerns now coming forward, it is understood that until these issues are resolved, the parties directly involved are proceeding with caution.”
The release read, “The city understands and appreciates the frustrations of many, and wants the public to be aware that the City only became actively engaged months after the last incident.
“The city was very disappointed with the lack of information made available following the incidents. Months after the last incident and following a meeting with Teck and City officials several weeks ago, at the City’s request, IRM and Teck issued a joint public information piece that is now available.”
Further to Trail’s previous press release dated Aug. 10, the updated stated, “The city encourages all those who believe they were impacted by the spills to be in contact with their insurance company as part of having their vehicles inspected. The city is also proceeding with a number of claims for its fleet vehicles that may have passed through the spills and continues to inspect its surface and underground infrastructure. The city has also been in contact with ICBC who have now increased their resources in response to the claims coming forward and are systematically inspecting and settling claims as required. Further, the city understands there are a number of private insurance companies also involved and they have implemented similar measures.
“This has been a most unfortunate set of circumstances and the City will be seeking further information as we work through this,” said Martin. “We need to be sure that the provincial highways and municipal roads are safe to use and that all necessary precautions are being taken in recognition of the significant commercial truck traffic that passes through our community every day.
“There must be checks and balances in place to provide the required level of comfort that everyone is seeking, and Council will be looking for further answers from Teck so the City is able to respond to our residents should an event like this ever occur in the future.”