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

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Column: One parenting book certainly doesn’t fit all

Like the fingerprints they are born with – each child is different.… Continue reading

Pooch abandoned at Penticton doggy daycare suffered from oral disease

A fundraiser for Okie held by the BC SPCA surpassed its goal of $1,700

Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department receives $25k grant

Money used on a truck with low volume, high pressure water pump to fight wildfires

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Okanagan sisters-in-law sleep out successful

Kiley Routley and Heidi Routley raise nearly $2,400 and awareness for youth homelessness

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

COVID-19: Homeless to be relocated from temporary Okanagan shelter

Homeless shelters in Vernon have been combined into one site at the curling rink since April

Dozens of fish die at popular lake near Chase

A few natural phenomena are possible causes for their deaths.

Most Read