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Ministry of Environment confirms white substance 'non-hazardous'

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
March 27th, 2014

An official with the Ministry of Environment said the unknown substance that spilled into West Arm of Kootenay Lake near the Prestige Inn Lakeside Resort Monday afternoon came from the Nelson Curling Club.

“(The substance) was runoff from paint transfer at the Nelson Curling Rink,” Veron Novosad, Environmental Emergency Response Officer at BC Ministry of Environment in Cranbrook said.

“They were transferring paint from a barrel that overflowed.”

“I’m not sure how it got into the storm system that flowed into the lake but the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for that paint said it’s a non-hazardous material,” Novosad added.

Nelson Fire Department was called to a report of a “hazardous” white substance, east of the Prestige Inn Lakeside Resort at 1:48 p.m. Monday.

Two on duty NFD members responded to assess the spill and observed that a large amount of white liquid was flowing from the storm drain just upstream from the Prestige Lakeside Resort.

The Ministry of Environment Spill Response Team was notified as well as the City of Nelson Public Works supervisor.

“It has a very minimal impact,” Novosad confirmed.

“Anything in a large enough quantity could have had an impact . . .  if there was enough in bulk that could have had an affect on the fish but in this case there wasn’t enough in bulk.

“So if any it was a very low impact (to Kootenay Lake).”

Novosad said Ministry of Environment is concerned with paint being disposed into storm drains because most paint is flammable.

However, this product that went into Kootenay Lake was “not flammable and not hazardous,” he said.

As for charges in this incident, the case has now been handed over to the policing arm of the ministry, the Conservation Office, and remains under investigation.

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