Staff with the B.C. Ministry of Environment (MOE) have concluded an oily sheen spotted in a creek near the Decker Lake Forest Products sawmill earlier this summer is a natural occurrence.
As first reported in the Sept. 3 edition of the Lakes District News, environment staff took a look at the creek by the Maxan Road bridge directly south of the log yard on Aug. 23. From the observations and photos taken of the sheen, staff initially believed it may be runoff from the log yard and it looked similar to puddles seen around saw dust piles.
Environment staff noted the yard is only 25 metres from the Endako River and the findings were presented to the MOE compliance group for follow-up to determine if the oil poses any risk to fish in the stream.
Last week MOE staff revealed they first noticed an oily sheen in the creek on July 25 while following up on a reported. Upon investigation of the late July observance, staff determined the oily sheen appeared to be a natural biological occurrence common when high iron and high manganese are present in slow wet water environments.
“The sheen was not associated with the spill incident in July [train derailment] as no product moved through the culvert,” stated officials with the Ministry of Environment. “The culvert was crushed and water was stagnant at the time of the occurrence.”
A conservation officer then visited the site again on Aug. 23 in response to another still report and took pictures of the sheen, which they forwarded on to staff present at the July 25 investigation. It was then confirmed the August sheen appeared to be the same thing that occurred in July.
Officials with the MOE have concluded no further action is required at this time.