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Class action and civil suits filed over Lemon Creek fuel spill

Fuel distributor and provincial government targeted in legal action

Legal action has been instigated by a man who owns property close to the site of a July 26 spill of jet fuel.

A document has been released outlining the terms of a class action suit which has been filed against the “Province of British Columbia and the corporate entities operating as Executive Flight Centre (‘the Action’).”

Slocan Valley resident Robert Kirk has brought the action on his own behalf as well as owners of property within the so-called evacuation zone – “an area of three kilometers on either side of Lemon Creek and the Slocan River; from the junction of highways 3A & 6 at South Slocan to three kilometers north of Lemon Creek.

Negligence and nuisance on the part of the Defendants are alleged by the action.

“They set up an ad hoc fuel depot in an environmentally sensitive area without taking due care,” states Robert Kirk in relation to the action. “They could have easily avoided the spill had they taken any one of various safety measures: a sign, map, a VHF radio or a flag person by the side of the road.”

“The Slocan River is a dead zone,” Kirk adds. “The wildlife are gone. Ducks, herons and deer have been pulled out dead from the river. The shorelines and wetlands that were once nesting grounds are now scattered with fish carcasses.”

Also alleged in the suit is incompetence on the part of the provincial government by using fuel contaminated water in the the suppression of the Perry Ridge forest fire “thereby further exacerbating the harm.”

A notice of civil claim has also been served by Robert Kirk against the above-mentioned defendants.