After three key parties would not or could not participate, the city withdrew from a Friday meeting regarding the sulphuric acid spills in Trail.
“The information the city was provided with, indicated that Westcan (Westcan Bulk Transport, the acid carrier) was not prepared to participate in the meeting,” Mayor Mike Martin told the Trail Times.
“ICBC, the major insurer, would not participate and would only attend as an ‘observer.’”
The active wildfire season kept first responder representatives from Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue from attending, he continued.
“All of this amounted to a situation where we would be unable to assemble a complete picture of the issue,” Martin said. “And to ensure all parties were on the same page looking forward as part of establishing procedures which would prevent something like this from happening in the future.”
Martin said the city is satisfied that IRM (International Raw Materials, owners of the acid) and Teck have undertaken considerable work “such that another similar incident seems very unlikely to occur.”
“If something does happen,” he said. “There will be more attention given to the response and, in particular, an appropriate communication protocol so the city and public are made aware of the situation and circumstances.”
Trail previously met with IRM representatives in late July, and at that time, suggested a multi-faceted meeting be organized in the city.
“A decision was made to withdraw from the meeting, which was discussed with IRM (the meeting organizer),” Martin clarified. “It was mutually agreed that the original intent of the meeting would not be met, and it would be in everyone’s best interest to defer until such time it was possible to get all the parties to the table and everyone could speak and contribute freely. “
Further, the city was satisfied with the joint release Teck and IRM issued on Thursday. (To view the release in full, see the Trail Times’ Sept. 7 edition and in upcoming editions on Sept. 12 and 14)
“That addressed many of the lingering questions and rumours associated with the spills that occurred in April and May.”
The city continues to have dialogue with Teck, and Martin said further comprehensive discussions are scheduled to talk about a path forward.
“The community will be provided with any relevant information that comes forward,” he concluded. “In the interim and with the information now available, people are encouraged to follow-up with their insurance companies if they believe they were impacted by the spills.”