Shipment of abattoir waste sprung leak

Duane Hicks

A small quantity of liquid waste en route from the Rainy River District Abattoir leaked onto roads in Emo leading to Highway 11/71 on Tuesday.
But the abattoir has taken steps to rectify the situation to the Ministry of Environment’s satisfaction.
Steve Loshaw, president of the Rainy River District Abattoir Inc., said this morning a private contractor hauls the waste from the abattoir.
On Tuesday, there was some spillage of liquid waste from the trailer while it was turning several corners to get from the abattoir to the highway.
The liquid waste was composed of water and blood.
“I talked to a couple people and they estimated two-three gallons [spilled] at the most,” noted Loshaw.
“It was a narrow trail that came out of the trailer on the road, and our staff from the abattoir went and cleaned it up as soon as they were notified the other evening,” he explained.
“They cleaned it with water and Javex.”
Loshaw said the MoE’s Spills Action Centre was notified of the leakage and clean-up, and that it was satisfied with the action taken.
Upon inspection, it appeared there was a break in the seal of the contractor’s trailer, noted Loshaw.
As such, the liquid waste now will be transported in individual sealed containers.
The liquid waste is removed from the abattoir each slaughter day. Right now, the abattoir has been slaughtering one day a week.
“Really, it’s a fairly insignificant amount,” Loshaw said of the quantity of liquid waste that leaked, noting it is nowhere near the rumoured 100 gallons some community members have claimed they saw.
One Emo resident who lives on Colonization Road, down the street from the abattoir, said her brother-in-law informed her of the blood on the road shortly before 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
“I went out, looked at it, was in utter shock, and followed the trail up to the abattoir,” noted Kathy Kuitunen, adding her 13-year-old daughter was “mortified” to see the liquid waste on the road.
Kuitunen said she called the OPP at that time, then went outside again to see an abattoir staff member cleaning the road.
She later called the MoE office in Kenora, as well as local MPP Howard Hampton’s constituency office, to complain about the spillage.
“It’s scary because they said we’d never see it and you’d never smell it, and it won’t cause any damage to you,” Kuitunen said.
“Well, we’ve got trucks going up and down the road, we’ve got kids that walk down Colonization Road to the school,” she noted.
“That’s the first time I’ve seen a spill. I hope it’s the last,” stressed Kuitunen, adding she’s afraid she’ll see the liquid waste come up through the sewer lines.
Kuitunen admitted she’s among the Emo residents who opposed the building of the abattoir, which had its grand opening back in February.
“We’re not against an abattoir, we’re just against it being put right in my back yard, basically,” she remarked.