Disaster relief applauded

"We would like to commend everyone for their resiliency in dealing with this very stressful situation."

This Friday, August 9, it will be two weeks since the Lemon Creek jet fuel spill occurred. In those two weeks much has happened and still much more needs to be done. After the accident occurred on July 26, thousands were evacuated, volunteers spent countless hours working to help their friends and neighbours, and various agencies came together to work on protecting the people and the environment of the Slocan Valley.

It has been a very difficult two weeks. We would like to commend everyone for their resiliency in dealing with this very stressful situation.

We also want to give our sincere thanks to the volunteers who have worked long hours and under very difficult conditions to help their neighbours. Regional directors Popoff, Davidoff and Elliot continue to work diligently on the ground trying to help their constituents. We would personally like to thank them for their ongoing efforts.

As the federal and provincial government representatives for the Slocan Valley, we want to let people know that we are committed to assisting with this crisis for the long term.

We know that there will be many months of work ahead as we begin to understand the compensation process, water and land testing, agriculture usage, and a safe and usable water supply for residents affected by the spill. Working through these ongoing issues will take the efforts of many people and many different agencies and ministries.

As MLA and MP for the area we are already working with various provincial and federal agencies and ministries, along with the Regional District directors and staff.

As the MLA I have been in direct communication with the Minister of Environment’s office, and I have also been in regular contact with RDCK Directors Popoff, Davidoff and Vice-Chair Elliot. Working together with Director Popoff, we have secured a visit to the area from Minister of Environment, Mary Polak, in late August or early September.

As the MP I am pleased that Minister Polak will be able to see first-hand the extent of the consequences of the fuel spill and I have learned that the federal government is prepared to contribute funding to the province for disaster relief, if it is required.

Both of us attended the community meeting held at the Winlaw Hall on July 30, and have spoken to many people who have contacted our offices directly.

We will continue to work to ensure that the provincial and federal governments are aware of the seriousness of the disaster.

Katrine Conroy, MLA and Alex Atamanenko, MP