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HomeNewsBC Ministry of Environment investigates spill at MDF Plant in Quesnel

BC Ministry of Environment investigates spill at MDF Plant in Quesnel

BC’s Ministry of Environment has determined that there is no immediate risk to public safety stemming from an effluent spill at the West Pine MDF (medium-density fibreboard) plant in Quesnel.

Two and a half million litres of effluent spilled onto a gravel pit on Monday (April 15) afternoon at around 4:30 when a valve was compromised causing a leak.

The Ministry says Northern Health, and the First Nations Health Authority were notified, and thus far, they have not raised any concerns regarding public impacts, particularly related to drinking water.

The Ministry confirms that a company has been contracted to remediate the site and remove the effluent, and that is has directed West Fraser to sample and characterize the effluent for toxicity and to retain a qualified professional to assess long-term environmental impacts, including those possibly effecting the Fraser River.

West Fraser spokesperson Joyce Wagenaar says “the effluent is within BC’s water quality safety levels, based on initial evaluation.

The Ministry says the effluent in question is a byproduct of the wood product manufacturing process at the mill and is not intended for environmental discharge.

Typically, West Fraser transports such effluent from this facility to another via a pipeline for proper processing and discharge.

The Ministry says the effluent, primarily comprised of water, may contain traces of resins, glues, ammonia, and wood particulates.

While there is a possibility of trace amounts of Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate or formaldehyde, West Fraser has indicated that formaldehyde is no longer utilized in operations at this facility.

 

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