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Ontario Energy Retailer Addresses Biosecurity Needs

A new biosecurity policy to reduce the risk ...


January 14, 2008
By Kristy Nudds


Topics

When a suspected or declared disease outbreak occurs in Ontario, UPI
Energy LP (“UPI”) can ensure the safe delivery of necessary services to
farmers.

8When a suspected or declared disease outbreak occurs in Ontario, UPI Energy LP (“UPI”) can ensure the safe delivery of necessary services to farmers.

The Guelph based energy company has implemented a new biosecurity policy to reduce the risk of its service fleet spreading biological hazards from farm to farm. 

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In consultation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), and the Poultry Industry Council, UPI developed its Emergency Response Plan.  In the event of an outbreak, UPI would dispatch its Clean Team Unit, which is a fully equipped trailer containing all the necessary tools to clean and disinfect its service vehicles prior to entering a farm property within a declared area.

“Life goes on for farmers,” says Robert Sicard, UPI’s President and CEO. “If disease is suspected or a quarantine is in effect, they still need our products to power their equipment and heat their barns.”

The Clean Team Unit will allow UPI to operate business as usual in the event of a crisis, he says.  The unit was custom designed, with input from UPI staff.  The unit contains a hot water pressure washer, a dedicated disinfection system, 500 gallons of water storage and protective equipment for personnel.

The UPI Clean Team Unit Features:
•    500 gallon water tank providing four to five hours of continuous wash time
•    4,000 psi hot water high pressure washer
•    Diesel-powered hot water heater
•    Separate hoses for disinfectant and water washing
•    55 gallon disinfectant tank
•    55 gallon antifreeze tank for winterizing equipment
•    Water hook-up for city or well water
•    Spare parts in case of breakdown
•    Lighting system for nighttime operation
•    Bio-hazard clothing, footwear, masks, respirators, etc.

All personnel have been trained on the proper mixing and handling and application of the disinfectant to the service fleet. The unit is fully mobile and is able to respond anywhere in the province 24 hours a day. 

Under non-alert (normal) conditions, UPI’s Biosecurity Policy also requires company personnel to thoroughly wash and disinfect all delivery units and service vehicles on a weekly basis. 

Every vehicle within UPI’s fleet is also equipped with a biosecurity kit should an employee find himself/herself in an affected zone.  This kit contains gloves, a respiratory mask, sanitizer, disposable boot covers and a variety of other protective items. 

“Biosecurity has become an important issue for farmers, and we feel that industry has to do its part to minimize the risk of spreading disease,” says Sicard.   


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