Explosion at Princeton reclamation plant

Envirogreen soil processing plant rocked by blast

The cause of an explosion at a soil reclamation operation near Princeton may not be known for a while.

Vijay Lanji, president of Envirogreen Technologies, said the company is in the process of investigating the explosion that occurred at their Similkameen operation on Nov. 28.

“There were no injuries. And that’s the most important thing,” said Lanji.

“Now we’re just trying to figure out what happened, whether it was a control issue or what. We’ve just had WorkSafe take a look at the site, release it back to us so we can start our investigation.”

The Envirogreen plant, located about 18 kilometres south of Princeton, on Highway 3, uses a thermal desorption process to purify hydrocarbon-contaminated soil.

Lanji said the soil it processes comes from many sites, such as old gas station brown sites and old mine sites such as the one his plant is located in.

Unlike incineration, which produces ash, the desorption process heats waste at a lower temperature, causing the hydrocarbon contaminants to off-gas. That gas is captured and used as fuel for the plant.

The resulting soil is sterilized and used for mine reclamation, according to Lanji.

READ MORE: B.C. should demand mining companies pay cleanup costs up front: Indigenous study

Investigators are looking into where the explosion began.

“We’re trying to determine that, whether it was in some ductwork or a burner. It hasn’t been established yet,” said Lanji. “We were just on the phone with our supplier to see what might have failed.”

The plant employs about 30 people and Lanji said the company wants to make sure everything is sound before it returns to full operation.

“We want our supplier to be involved in the investigation to make sure all of our safety mechanisms etc are working before we start putting our plan together for starting up operation.”

Envirogreen has operated in the Princeton location since 1995. According to the company’s website, it operates with permits granted by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and the facility has been audited by prominent regulatory agencies.

READ MORE: RDOS calls for changes to recycling regulations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon author’s book describes how child’s death transforms mother’s life

Destanne Norris to hold book signings in Vernon and Salmon Arm

Vernon Mounties probe white supremacy propaganda

Slips leading people to websites boasting extreme ideology were strewn about local school yards Sept. 30

Sports back at play in Vernon schools

Gymnasiums opened up within the district for school-organized sports only

Outbreak at Vernon care facility not COVID-19

Scenario C respiratory illness outbreak declared Sept. 25 by Interior Health

Crash limits Highway 6 traffic near Lumby

Another crash reported by DriveBC following morning logging truck rollover

B.C. starts October with 82 more positive COVID-19 tests

10,899 tests a record for a single day, Bonnie Henry says

Two new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Five cases remain linked to an outbreak at Calvary Chapel in Kelowna

Out of the shadows: Illuminating Revelstoke’s overdose crisis

The city has one of the highest illicit drug death rates per capita in B.C.

Missing mushroom picker in northern B.C. found dead

Witset elder found deceased in Price Creek area more than two weeks after he vanished

BC Greens focus on long-term care reform in first platform promise

Greens have promised to move away from the for-profit care home model

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘It’s a nightmare’: Northern B.C. family desperate after living in hotel for a year

Renae Podgorney says because of a lack of rentals, she’s now applying to rent a one-bedroom unit

Mitchell’s Musings: Predictions, politics and pandemics

Columnist Glenn Mitchell offers some random thoughts on current affairs

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in B.C. farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

Most Read