Explosion at Princeton reclamation plant

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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

Peyton Burton-Otteson and Gia Han along with OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre mascot Otis have some fun practicing for last year’s 40th annual Share a Smile Telethon at Cherry Lane Shopping Centre. (File photo)
OSNS smashes fundraising goal for 41st Share-a-Smile Telethon

The telethon and online auction raised a combined total of $81,000 to support local kids

Wineries in the Central Okanagan this year saw a high quality harvest, but a low yield. Pictured is a winery in West Kelowna, in October. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Business district is pictured during a traffic jam in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
Morning Start: By 2050, 95 percent of North Jakarta could be submerged

Your morning start for Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Central Okanagan Public Schools administration office in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed in 5 more Central Okanagan schools

All people who tested positive for the virus are self isolating at home

Penticton Law Courts
Bail hearing for Penticton man charged with sex assault, forcible confinement

Robert Sauve is facing more than 10 criminal charges

Revelstoke RCMP warn of scam after two people targeted in one day. (Black Press file photo)
Revelstoke RCMP warn of scammer pulling at heart strings

Two people in Revelstoke targeted in one day by person posing as a loved one

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP investigate suspected arson at Shuswap hunting camp

Suspicious fire took place by Scotch Creek forest service road on Oct. 24

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

St. James Anglican Church, Armstrong, B.C. (Google Maps).
Prayer at North Okanagan council meetings a violation of religious neutrality: study

New study found 23 municipalities held prayer sessions at inaugural meetings in 2018, in violation of a Supreme Court decision

A worker at Kelowna Airport has tested positive for COVID-19. (File)
Kelowna airport worker tests positive for COVID-19

Individual, who works as a screener, was asked to self-isolate, at which time they tested positive

Most Read