Cause of Teck spill under investigation

An investigation to determine the cause of a spill from Teck’s Trail Operations into the Columbia River is underway.

An investigation to determine the cause of a spill from Teck’s Trail Operations into the Columbia River is underway.

The mining giant reported that it exceeded its discharge permit by 1.5 kilograms of cadmium and seven kg of copper last Tuesday.

“Our work to date indicates that a contaminant entered the effluent stream going into the Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) that impacted operation of the treatment process and allowed the elevated levels of cadmium and copper to be carried through the plant and discharged,” said Richard Deane, manager of energy and public affairs with Teck, in an email response to the Times on Sunday.

“The ETP operations staff noticed that the character of the process solution changed. The plant was shut down shortly after.

“Regulatory authorities were notified and an investigation launched to determine the cause and identify corrective measures. We take our responsibility to protect the environment very seriously and are continuously working to improve our performance.”

Deane wrote that initial assessments by an environmental consultant indicated the spill didn’t pose a health or safety risk to people, fish or wildlife.

“However there is the potential for temporary and localized minor effects to aquatic algae and insects in the immediate vicinity of the outfall,” he added.

The Effluent Treatment Plant is now back up and running.

Teck is permitted to dispense six kg of copper and four kg of cadmium daily but typically releases about 800 grams of copper and 200 g of cadmium.

In May of this year, Teck agreed to pay $325,000 for discharging mercury into the Columbia River last year, just weeks after leachate from Teck’s lead and zinc smelting operation overflowed into Stoney Creek.

About 14.8 kilograms of solution, containing mercury but largely made up of water, escaped from Trail Operations during the reconfiguration of piping to the Effluent Treatment Plant on Oct. 7, 2010.

One of the pumps in the sump system failed, which allowed solution to overflow to a line that discharges into the Columbia River, exceeding the 400 grams of mercury permitted to flow into the river per day.

Just Posted

The Trail Smoke Eaters will open the 2021 season on Oct. 8 against the Cranbrook Bucks in Cranbrook, and will have their home opener the next night against the same Bucks. Photo: Jack Murray
BC Hockey League announces 54-game schedule to begin in October

Trail Smoke Eaters open season with home-and-home series versus Cranbrook Bucks

“The Spirit of Family” enhances the Beaver Valley both in the daytime and at night. Photo: Submitted
Family sculpture installed at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall

Locals are encouraged to swing by Fruitvale Memorial Hall to take a… Continue reading

In 1927, swimmers enjoyed a day in the water at the CGIT and CSET Camp in Summerland. While none of the people in this photograph have smart phones, there is some debate about whether a beach image from the United Kingdom in 1943 shows a man using a smart phone. (Photograph courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
COLUMN: The mystery of the time-travelling tourist

Was the man in a 1943 photograph checking his smart phone?

The flotation line at Gyro Park beach in East Trail, shown here during low water, is for emergency purposes only and does not delineate a safe swimming area. Photo: Trail Times file
City of Trail cautions beach users

Gyro Park beach questions should be directed to the roads superintendent at 250.364.0817.

Presently in Canada, it is illegal to be in possession of a personal stun gun. Use of this tool is only licensed to federal and provincial police officers. The personal use of stun guns by unlicensed civilians is considered to be illegal and considered under the Canadian Criminal Code to be the equivalent of a weapon. Anyone found importing or in possession of a personal stun gun and is not a licensed law enforcement officer can be prosecuted under the Canadian Criminal Code. Photo: BC RCMP
Trail man faces weapons charge after police confiscate stun gun

The incident took place on Sunday near downtown Trail

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read