Delay in alerting people about sulphuric acid spill 'concerning'
Greater Sudbury Police and Fire Services say there is no danger to the public but are advising residents who live in the area to avoid touching or driving over any liquid found on or abutting the roadway after a sulfuric acid leak closes roads. June 2020. (Jesse Oshell/Greater Sudbury Fire Services)
SUDBURY -- The City of Greater Sudbury issued a release at 1:01 a.m Saturday saying a sulphuric acid leak from a tanker truck has resulted in the closure of several roadways from Falconbridge to Lively and there was no danger to public safety.
The leak happened when the vehicle left Glencore in Falconbridge at 4:30 Friday afternoon but was not reported to city staff until just before 10 p.m..
That delay concerns a Sudbury councillor.
"My biggest concern is this is a very serious, very serious situation. People could have got very badly hurt. Property could have got very badly damage. As soon as this type of situation presents itself, companies and residents need to know that they need to call 911," said Sudbury Ward 7 Councillor Mike Jakubo.
On many parts of the roadway between Falconbridge and Lively you can still see the trail left by sulphuric acid that leaked from a tanker truck Friday afternoon and the material used in clean up efforts.
Several of those roads are in the councillor's ward. He says many concerned citizens have contacted him.
"People are saying they didn't know what had happened, they may have driven through the acid. People might have walked over it with pets and things like that, so very concerning situations," said Jakubo.
The City confirms it has already met with Glencore and reinforced the requirements for immediate notification of situations like this.
"I directed my staff over the weekend to contact and meet with Glencore staff to talk about what when wrong. And to review opportunities have them participate in opportunities to have them participate in a hazardous alert notification process that the city had developed some time ago," said Joseph Nicholls the General Manager of Community Safety for the City of Greater Sudbury.
Glencore says the incident is under full investigation.
"Glencore Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations became aware of a potential leak just before 8:00 pm on June 5. We immediately began our investigation and response," said Yonaniko Grenon, a Senior Communications Specialist with that company.
"We take community safety and concerns very seriously and further details will be provided pending the results of the investigation being completed in conjunction with the contractor trucking company," said Grenon.