Bear River Zinc Concentrate Spill

DISCLAIMER: Information provided is based on reports received by Emergency Management B.C. Information provided is considered to be current at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.

Incident Description

Incident Date December 14, 2018
Name Bear River Zinc Concentrate Spill (DGIR: 183376)
Source Transport Truck
Nearest Community Stewart, B.C. 
Spilled Content Zinc Concentrate 
Who is involved? Arrow Transportation Systems Inc., B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy


Response Phase Detail

The responsible person or spiller is legally required to clean-up or manage the clean-up of a spill. In incidents where the responsible person is unknown, unable or unwilling to manage the clean up, the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy (MOE) may assume the role. The updates below reflect the Ministry’s oversight of the spillers’ actions; details describe the spill response phase, only, and not the complete lifecycle of the spill. See More Information for other related reports. 

Updates are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent at the top. Industry-specific language may be explained in the Glossary of Terms (PDF).

Most Recent Update

December 17, 2018 - 8:45 am

An Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) with B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy attended the incident site on Saturday, December 15. Avalanche technicians with B.C. Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure were also engaged to ensure site safety. 

The trailer was removed from the ditch on Saturday and water has been diverted away from the spilled zinc concentrate to decrease material spread. In addition, multiple silt fences were installed to contain the spill.

Water samples were collected on Saturday (December 15) to investigate the extent of the impact. Heavy equipment removed the bulk of the material from the impacted area and stockpiled it nearby. An avalanche assessment was also conducted this weekend to ensure site safety. The stockpiled material will be packaged and removed from the incident site as soon as it is safe to do so. 

B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy will continue to work with the responsible person to ensure the site is cleaned up appropriately. 

No further updates are expected unless the situation worsens. 

December 14, 2018 - 2:45 pm

A transport truck hauling zinc concentrate has gone off the road while travelling along Highway 37A near Stewart, B.C. The second trailer disconnected from the main truck and came to rest near a small back channel of the Bear River. An estimated 23,000 kg of zinc concentrate has spilled. 

The responsible person, Arrow Transportation Systems Inc., is on site with heavy equipment to recover the trailer. Spill response contractors are en route. 

Additional updates will be provided when new information is available. 

Copper Spill near Stewart BC

(Responders conducting a site assessment - December 14, 2018)


Incident Location