Recreational users of the Gorge Waterway raise concern over a barge fire Friday

Recreational users of the Gorge Waterway are raising concern over a barge fire on the water Friday - and the fact the same company was involved in an accident last year that saw crushed cars and scrap metal fall off a listing barge.

Erik Ages is General Manager at the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club.  He says along a 3 kms strip of the Gorge there are 5 training facilities and recreational facilities for paddlers of all kinds, in addition to private boat owners and industry as well.

According to Ages a majority of the industries operating along the waterway are environmentally responsible, but the company associated with the fire  -- Schnitzer Steel --  has had more problems that others:

" I would suggest that they either find some way to be good neighbours and tighten up their controls and their safety net, or that they consider moving somewhere else. Although that's not a solution either."

Ages notes cars still need to be recycled - so moving the business won't solve the problems.

" My hope is that they use this and last year's example to invest in greater safety and greater environmental responsibility"

 Ages says protecting the Gorge from contamination is important to paddling clubs, swimmers, and others -- including kids water camps that are also about to start up for the summer.

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