08/24/2013 12:57 EDT | Updated 10/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Slocan Valley Fuel Spill 'Devastating' Say Farmers

Farmers in the Slocan Valley are trying to save their season as crews concentrate on cleaning up the remaining fuel in Lemon Creek.

On July 27 a tanker truck fell into the creek, spilling 32,000 litres of jet fuel into the tributary of the Slocan and Kootenay Rivers.

The fuel spill made it hard for many Slocan valley farmers, many of whom rely on the two markets a week in Nelson as their main source of cash, to sell their produce.

"It was the height of the season. We lost several thousand dollars worth of revenue," said Angela Weir of Crooked Horn Farms at the market in Nelson this week.

The vegetables from Crooked Horn Farms are certified organic, meaning Weir couldn't sell most of her produce until it was tested.

"So it was a pretty devastating time. We weren't able to sell produce for a couple of weeks until test results came back. Now everything has come back clean so we are happy to back at the market selling again," said Weir.

At the next stall at the market, Alys Ford says her farm was far enough from the river they knew their vegetables were fine, but they had them tested anyway because of public concerns.

"There have been people who have been concerned about produce from the valley and we had a couple people who declined to shop with us a couple weeks afterward," said Ford.

Ford says she probably won't make a claim for compensation, but Weir says Crooked Horn Farms will, meaning as the fuel cleanup winds down, the paperwork and court cases may just be beginning.

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