The City's manager of transportation and utilities is refuting comments made to The Record Monday regarding the origin of a contamination slick on the Courtenay estuary.
On Monday afternoon, Record editor Terry Farrell made a video of a slick flowing out with the tide, at the airpark gazebo, and immediately went to the City of Courtenay Public Works office, to question the contents of the video.
Staff at the office said the investigating officer was not in, but he was aware of the issue, and had attended the site of the slick. The office staff then explained the cause of the slick was due to contaminants picked up during the snow removal process.
On Tuesday afternoon, City of Courtenay manager of transportation and utilities Kyle Shaw called the Record, refuting his staff's claims.
"There were a couple of investigations that coincided on one document that ended up being misrepresented by our clerical staff to yourself, which is unfortunate,” said Shaw.
Shaw went on to say that the City does not dump its snow hauls into the estuary.
“The city actually collects it,” he said. “The snow (from the weekend) hasn't even been picked up, that I am aware of.”
He said due to the rate at which the snow is melting, the decision has yet to be made as to whether the plowed snow will even be removed, but if and when it is removed, it will not be dumped into the estuary.
“It would just be transported back to a public yard or a city yard and stockpile it and let it melt off there,” he said.
As for what the slick is, the investigation continues.
“That's still undetermined,” said Shaw. “The statement I received from Dave (the investigating officer)... was there wasn't a smell of hydrocarbon. Usually if there is a fresh hydrocarbon spill, you get that off-gassing of hydrocarbon, and you get that rainbow effect in the water, and although it was partially there, it was kind of mixed. So defining what it was without a sample would be difficult, but it didn't give the element, or the nature, of a hydrocarbon still.”
So the nature of the contaminant remains a mystery.
“Or the source, for that matter,” said Shaw.
To see the video, go to http://bit.ly/2gIgi01