September 24, 2018 by The Canadian Press
TRAIL, B.C. – The movement of sulphuric acid by truck through a southeastern British Columbia city has been halted while officials try to determine why there has been a third leak of the corrosive liquid in less than six months.
International Raw Materials says in a news release that it purchased the load of sulphuric acid from the Teck Resources Ltd. lead and zinc smelter in Trail and was moving the acid to a nearby reload facility on Sept. 22.
A spill that the company describes as “less than one cup,” was found at the reload site and three “dime-sized drips” were spotted on a road, but the company statement says no acid was found on highways through Trail.
International Raw Materials says trucking contractor Trimac will launch a full investigation and take corrective action but all acid shipments by road have been suspended while the probe is underway.
The Insurance Corporation of B.C. is still trying to determine how many vehicles were damaged by sulphuric acid leaks on routes through Trail on April 10 and May 23.
Claims related to the spills had topped 3,000 by early September and some of the vehicles damaged or written off include a new fire truck worth an estimated $800,000 and several school buses.
Teck said in a release posted earlier this month that just under 300 litres of sulphuric acid leaked onto the busy route through Trail in the first two spills.
Vehicles were damaged when they drove through puddles of the acid before the spills were identified.
Sulphuric acid has the potential to corrode vehicle undercarriages, aluminum parts and especially brake lines and brake systems, an ICBC adviser said.
Teck produces the acid at its Trail smelter but the product had been purchased by International Raw Materials and was being moved by that company’s contractors when the spills occurred.
No one was hurt, the acid was neutralized and is not believed to have seeped into area waterways.