Line Creek start-up problem impacted fish: Teck
A die off of fish in the Elk River watershed late last year was the result of the start-up of the Line Creek Operations, Teck Coal Ltd. (Teck) announced today in a press release.
A total of 74 deceased fish were found in the area between October 16 and November 5, prompting a review by the company.
The review conducted by Teck of the fish mortality incident has determined that the mortality was caused by nitrite in the fish, in combination with low dissolved oxygen in the aquatic environment and other constituents in the treatment facility discharge water, including ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and carbohydrates that are normally managed within the biological treatment process.
The constituents were released as the result of a problem with the startup of the plant, which caused constituents that would normally be removed or consumed during the process to be discharged, the company notes in its review.
“We accept responsibility for this unfortunate occurrence and are now working to restart the facility and implement measures to prevent a reoccurrence,” said Robin Sheremeta, Vice President of Coal Operations. “Teck is committed to learning from this incident and implementing the measures necessary to maintain water quality and aquatic health in the Elk River watershed.”
The West Line Creek Water Treatment Facility was immediately shut down following the incident. Additional staffing and improved monitoring, process controls and incident response are being implemented to prevent a reoccurrence. It is anticipated that restart of the facility will begin in mid-2015 with full operation achieved in the fall, the company reported.