If there’s any silver lining out of the recent spill of heavy metal-contaminated rinse water at Viking Air, it’s that no one tried to cover it up.
Once the spill was discovered, James Bogusz of the Victoria Airport Authority says he was notified immediately. From him, the word was relayed on to the Town of Sidney, responsible for the downstream and residential portion of Reay Creek — the body of water into which the spill occurred.
More precisely, the spill went into a drain on the site of the aircraft manufacturer and into a man-made containment area, controlled by entrance and egress valves. Timely communication meant those valves could be closed to prevent the spill from having a large impact downstream.
Ian Bruce of Peninsula Streams, and an environmental watchdog, agrees that once the incident was discovered, the company didn’t hide but took responsibility and took action. Bruce says Viking Air representatives even attended a recent community meeting held with residents who live along the banks of Reay Creek to explain what happened.
No one wants something like this to occur. It’s a test of character after it does and depending on one’s reaction, that character will be revealed.
From the responses the News Review has received in this case, it seems Viking Air’s character has passed that test.
Yes, it would be preferable that steps are taken to prevent any such spills into a water course that has been hit hard over the years since the airport was built. And there are, says Bruce, learning points to take away from any such incident.
While he might be frustrated over the condition of the creek and the pond downstream, Bruce is at least glad people stepped up early and the spill was cleaned up.
This reaction is a lesson in responsibility and how to take it. Owning up to mistakes can be hard and many people avoid it like the plague.
Taking responsibility, even though it could mean taking a hit in return, is admirable and should not be forgotten by anyone facing a similar situation.