On April 10 downtown Trail clean-up was underway following a “release” of sulphuric acid. (Guy Bertrand photo)

Second commercial acid spill in Kootenay city

Station 374 Trail was called to a Hazmat scene Wednesday night on Highway 3B

After a second sulphuric acid spill in Trail in the past six weeks, Westcan Bulk Transport has been suspended as a carrier for Teck Trail Operations, the company confirmed Thursday.

“IRM is the owner of the product (sulphuric acid) and is responsible for safe transport once it leaves Trail Operations,” Teck’s Catherine Adair told the Times. “Westcan is one of the carriers that IRM retains to ship product.”

Teck is working closely with IRM to review their transportation arrangements given these recent incidents, Adair said.

“A full investigation is underway, and the transportation of the product using Westcan as a carrier is suspended until Teck is satisfied it can be transported safely.”

Three firefighters from Station 374 Trail were called to a Hazmat scene near Shavers Bench Wednesday night.

A truck hauling sulphuric acid had “some spills” along Highway 3B, Captain Grant Tyson reported.

“Starting at Highway 3B and Rossland Avenue and continuing to the west entrance of Glenmerry where the truck came to a stop,” he explained.

“Teck’s Emergency Response team along with the Teck Fire Department were on scene and dealt with the spilled acid.”

Tyson’s crew arrived to the site at 6 p.m. He reported the incident under control by about 8:30 p.m.

Zoe LeParque, communications manager for RTL-Westcan Group of Companies in Edmonton, replied to questions from the Trail Times.

“Initial findings indicate that the cause of the incident was a gasket failure on the trailer unit and was unrelated to the release that occurred on April 10. As the incident is still under investigation, we will not be speculating or providing any additional comment at this time.”

More to come.

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April 11 “Westcan issues statement on sulphuric acid release”

Westcan Bulk Transport issued an April 11 statement regarding a sulphuric acid release the previous morning in the Trail area.

“Shortly after 8:00 a.m. PST, there was a release of sulphuric acid from a Westcan Bulk Transport truck during the 16-km drive from Teck’s Trail Operations to the Quark Siding reload station in Waneta,” said the release.

The statement added, “The release was quickly identified and our incident response team secured the area to assess the incident and begin the clean up process, with the assistance of the Teck Emergency Response Team.

“The cleanup was completed at approximately 2:00 p.m. PST today (Tuesday). We can confirm that there was no waterway or ground water contamination as a result of the release and do not expect there to be any long-term health, safety or environmental impacts.”

The company did offer some precautionary actions for anyone concerned.

“Anyone who feels they may have come in contact with the product should avoid inhalation, digestion, and skin contact and wash any surface or item that may have come in contact with the product as a precaution.

“Anyone who was traveling in the vicinity at the time of the release and is concerned that their vehicle may have come in contact with the product should run their vehicle through an automatic car wash as a precaution to safely dilute and remove any residue.

“Our safety team is currently investigating to determine the cause of the release and the equipment involved has been taken out of service until a cause can be determined.”

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