Parameters are still being worked out, but property owners outside the Trail area will have future opportunity to address the smelter’s historical contamination through a Wide Area Remediation Plan (Plan).
“The area that will be encompassed through the plan is still being determined through a soil sampling and data analysis program currently underway,” says Trail Mayor Mike Martin, chair of the Trail Area Health and Environment Committee.
The Trail Times asked Martin why locals living in the wider area may want to keep tabs on the process.
“The plan is important because it more formally defines Teck’s responsibilities for remediation – both actions and time frames,” he replied.
“Up to this point, Teck has taken actions developed through the Trail Area Health and Environment Program, which has been jointly developed by Teck, Interior Health Authority, Ministry of Environment and the community through wide representation by residents and elected representatives.”
The Plan will be an expansion on this, and once developed, will be brought to the community for input and discussion through a public consultation process.
“The interest on the part of the Trail Area Health and Environment Committee is that the interests of our community are represented,” Martin clarified.
“And that the ongoing positive work of the Trail Area Health and Environment Program continues within the framework of the Wide Area Remediation Plan.”
Based on the present program developed by all partners on the committee, as well as the community, millions of dollars have been invested to date, he added.
“And the Wide Area Remediation Plan will provide a definitive road map going forward. The committee is working closely with the Ministry of Environment and Teck to ensure that the plan developed represents the best path forward for our community.”
The Plan will be a formal document that Teck submits to the province under a legislative process.
“The Wide Area Remediation Plan is a regulatory, multi-year process that we are developing with the Trail Area Health and Environment Committee, the Ministry of Environment and Interior Health that will address impacts of historical operation,” explained Community Relations Leader Catherine Adair.
“The Plan is currently in draft form, but would formalize much of the work that is already taking place within the Trail Area Health and Environment Program,” she told the Trail Times.
“Such as soil and garden remediation and a focus on children’s health, with additional measures focused on continuous improvement.”
The proposed Plan will likely continue to be developed over the next two years, and will include a full public consultation process prior to it being accepted and finalized.