In late February, Brian Houle, Environmental Manager at the Catalyst Crofton mill, received a phone call from a concerned Salt Spring Island resident. A storm that pummeled the mill had resulted in a significant volume of chips being blown off a tied-up chip barge sitting offshore. The strong westerly wind moved the chips across the Stuart Channel, depositing them on Vesuvius Beach, near Vesuvius Bay Ferry Terminal on Saltspring Island.
After a visit to the island to confirm, Brian arranged with a local contractor to clean up the chips from the beach. After three days of cleanup, the beach area was wood-chip-free! Many residents who walked the beach during the clean-up commented that they were impressed to see the unsightly wood chips removed from the beach and the resident who alerted the mill about the contamination was also appreciative of the cleanup.
Brian thanked her for reporting the chip spill issue, as the cleanup wouldn’t have taken place had it not been for her call. The total effort to clean up the beach involved two contractors for three days to remove the wood chips. They noted the most difficult aspect of the job was lifting the bags and buckets of water-logged chips up a staircase to get them to the road from the beach.
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