Canoe Forest Products issues statement on water discharge incident
By Canoe Forest Products
March 17, 2016 — Canoe Forest Products can confirm a discharge of potentially contaminated water has occurred at the company’s plywood plant in Canoe, B.C.
“We have established the origin of the water leak that led to this discharge, and repaired the leak,” said Marcello Angelozzi, Canoe FP’s operations manager. “There is no longer any water being discharged from the plant. We are now working with provincial and federal agencies to determine what, if any, impacts there are as a result of this incident.”
On March 7, there was evidence of a water leak with accumulations of water in the glue room pit (where the glue used in making plywood sheets is collected). While the leak was being investigated, the increased volume of water was pumped out of the glue pit to collection vats outside.
It appears some of the water may have escaped and possibly entered the Shuswap Lake shoreline. Reports, however, that “thousands of litres” reached the lake are inaccurate.
“We take responsibility for this accident, and we will work with the proper agencies to ensure impacts are minimized,” said Angelozzi.
The initial problem was traced back to a plumbing leak in the mill. It has since been repaired. The area of discharge has been contained, and will be remediated as necessary.
Officers from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Conservation Officer Service were on site yesterday. Canoe Forest Products is working with them and Interior Health to assess the risk and determine next steps.
At no time was there any risk to employee safety.
Canoe Forest Products regrets any impacts, however temporary, on the people of Salmon Arm, and applauds Interior Health and the City of Salmon Arm in taking the extraordinary precautions they did to ensure any possible public health impacts were minimized.
The situation is being closely monitored and updates will be made available to the media on a regular basis and posted at www.canoefp.com.