May 27, 2015 - 7:34 PM
VERNON - Police aren’t sure where a large batch of chemicals dumped in a gravel pit on Douglas Lake Road came from, but they have a hunch it was a synthetic drug lab.
The Ministry of Environment got wind of the illegally dumped chemicals — 33 to 54 gallon barrels full — and contacted the Vernon RCMP on March 24. Investigators suspected the chemicals to be production waste from an illicit drug lab, and called in the Hazmat team from Vancouver. Samples were tested, and the chemicals identified as those used in the production of synthetic drugs.
RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says police are still investigating to determine where the chemicals came from, and who is responsible.
“Chemical dumping is common in illegal operations... the persons responsible do not want to pay to dispose of them properly (or) risk being identified dealing with these types of products,” Molendyk says.
The cost of removing the chemicals and managing the site is in the ballpark of $65,000 — a big cost, but a necessary one, police say.
“Some of the chemicals used are harmful to the environment, animals and the public so it is concerning when they are left to contaminate the ground or streams with the potential to harm the natural food chain and perhaps people,” Molendyk says.
Douglas Lake Road is located off Highway 97 in the Westwold area.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015