Lawsuit filed over Lemon Creek jet fuel spill
The Slocan Valley man who has launched legal action in the wake of a major fuel spill describes the Slocan River as a "dead zone."
Winlaw resident Robert Kirk says wildlife is gone and ducks, heron and deer have been pulled dead from the river since 35,000 litres of jet fuel poured into the waterway after a tanker dumped its load into nearby Lemon Creek in late July.
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Marilyn Burgoon — a long-time resident of Vallican, downstream of Lemon Creek — says the suit is being filed partly because the damage to the environment may not be known for years.
"We just want accountability for the damages to the river and to ourselves," she said. "We were all evacuated. We were all coughing, sick and headachy and this fuel is very toxic."
A proposed class action lawsuit was filed yesterday against the Province of British Columbia and Executive Flight Centre — the company that operated the tanker that caused the spill.
The suitalso alleges the province didn't take sufficient measures to limit access to the Lemon Creek Forest Service Road to large vehicles, and alleges negligence and nuisance on the part of Executive Flight Centre.
None of the claims have been proven in court.
The defendants have until the end of the month to file their response and then Kirk and several of his neighbours along Lemon Creek and the Slocan and Kootenay rivers will ask a judge to certify their suit as a class action.
With files from The Canadian Press