Acid shipments halted in B.C. city while series of leaks is investigated
Municipal officials in southeastern British Columbia say they have been assured that the company which moves sulphuric acid through a West Kootenay city won’t resume shipping until a thorough engineering investigation wraps up.
A post on the City of Trail website says a meeting was requested Monday with senior members of International Raw Materials and Teck’s Trail smelter operations after sulphuric acid dripped on city roads over the weekend.
The release of acid was the third in Trail since April, with the first two spills prompting thousands of vehicle claims to the Insurance Corporation of B.C.
In the city’s post, Mayor Mike Martin says the third leak, which spilled less than a quarter of a litre of acid at a loading facility and left three dime-sized drips along a highway through Trail, was minor, but still concerning.
Martin says that’s because previous meetings with International Raw Materials had ended with assurances the company was working to prevent future problems.
The city says during the meeting the company said it has halted all truck transport of sulphuric acid until the engineering investigation and certification process concludes.
Four new transport trailers will also be brought in to move the acid, the city says.
International Raw Materials buys sulphuric acid from Teck’s Trail plant and hauls it along several busy commuter routes to loading facilities in another part of the city.
The Insurance Corporation confirmed that hundreds of vehicles, including a new fire truck worth approximately $800,000, were damaged or destroyed by the first two acid spills.
Teck said in a release earlier this month that a total of just under 300 litres of sulphuric acid leaked in separate spills on April 10 and May 23.
No one was hurt, the acid was neutralized and is not believed to have seeped into area waterways.