Teck charged for incidents

“All incidents were investigated and additional measures to enhance environmental controls were implemented as a result.” - Richard Deane

Teck Trail Operations has been charged under the national Fisheries and Environmental Management Act, it was announced on Thursday.

The eight charges stem from self-reported incidents that occurred between November 2013 and July 2014.

“All incidents were investigated and additional measures to enhance environmental controls were implemented as a result,” said Richard Deane, manager of environment, health and safety and public affairs at Teck Trail Operations.

In the Jan. 15, 2014 incident, a valve at the Warfield plant failed and allowed aqueous ammonia to enter the cooling water system, causing a short-lived rise in the pH and ammonia levels in the C-IV outfall.

Deane, says as soon as the issue was noticed, it was reported and steps were taken to prevent it from happening again.

“In the case of the Jan. 15, 2014 valve incident at our Warfield Operations, we installed additional check valves and installed a back flow preventer to create redundant protection,” he said.

Deane added that it wasn’t just about equipment improvements.

“We also changed our training for our operators to ensure the system is operated properly. Further, we installed field alarms in the operation in addition to the alarm in the control room to improve our response time.”

The valve incident resulted in two of the eight counts laid against Teck Trail operations.

Others include three charges for elevated copper output in an outfall on Nov. 12, 2013, one charge for concrete mix entering an outfall while sealing pipes on Nov. 28, 2014, and two counts for elevated chlorine in an outfall after a power outage in July 2104.

The incidents were reported to the Ministry of Environment, the Provincial Emergency Program and Environment Canada when they occurred.

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