Caustic Liquid Spill near the Alberta-B.C. border

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 October 8, 2017
Name Caustic Liquid Spill near the Alberta-B.C. border (DGIR: 172328)
Source Tanker Truck
Nearest Community Dawson Creek, B.C.
Spilled Content Caustic liquid
Who is involved? B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, Ministry of Indigenous Relations & Reconciliation, Grande Prairie County Fire Department, Dawson Creek Fire Department, Emergency Management B.C., Transport Canada


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 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

October 11, 2017 - 8:35 am

The tank was successfully tapped on the afternoon of October 10, 2017. The remaining caustic liquid product was unloaded to a new tank truck. The damaged tank has been lifted upright, removed from the scene and Highway 2 was reopened to all traffic.

The Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) will continue to work with Transport Canada and the responsible party to ensure residual contamination at the site is addressed. 

No further updates are expected for this incident. 

Responders tapping the tank to remove remaining caustic liquid

(Hazmat responders tapping the tank to remove remaining product - October 10, 2017)


October 10, 2017 - 9:27 am

Additional equipment and specialized crews from Kelowna and Calgary arrived on scene and are preparing to offload the caustic liquid this morning, pending Transport Canada's final approval. An Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) with B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy is on scene providing oversight. 

Highway 2 will be closed for approximately ten minutes while the tank is tapped to ensure safety of the public and responders. The highway will re-open once the tap is successfully in place. The entire off-loading operation is expected to take approximately 1 to 2 hours. Please check for details on highway closures. 

The next update will be provided as soon as new information is available. 

tanker truck hauling caustic liquid on it's side in the ditch

(Tanker truck carrying caustic liquid in the ditch - October 9, 2017)

October 9, 2017 - 5:43 pm

On Sunday, October 8, 2017, a motor vehicle incident involving a tanker truck occurred on Highway 2, roughly 15 ft from the Alberta border. The truck was carrying a cargo of caustic liquid. The caustic liquid began leaking from the top hatch of the truck into the ditch. 

The Grande Prairie County Fire Department arrived on scene with hazmat resources, attempting to stop the flow of product on Sunday night. The highway was closed in both directions and the driver was extricated from the vehicle and flown to hospital via air ambulance. 

The truck was carrying approximately 15,700 L of caustic liquid. An estimated 100 L of product spilled to ground. The Grande Prairie County Fire Department patched the hatch on Sunday night and the leak was reduced to a slow drip. No waterways have been impacted at this time.  

The product must be offloaded before the truck can be righted and removed. Due to the characteristics of the caustic liquid, there are limited tanks suitable to offload the product into, which impacts how quickly the truck can be removed.

Contractors have been hired by the responsible party to offload the product and right the vehicle. B.C. Ministry of Environment is working with Transport Canada to review and approve the recovery plan to allow these operations to commence.

B.C. Ministry of Environment is also working to have the responsible party develop a remediation plan to address the remaining contamination at the site. Highway 2 will be periodically closed to ensure responder safety during the recovery operation. Please check for the latest updates on highway closures.

There is currently no estimate on how long recovery operations will take, given the difficulty of repositioning the truck to support the offloading of its contents. 

The next update will be provided as soon as new information becomes available. 

Caustic liquid spill

(Tanker truck leaking caustic liquid in the ditch near the Alberta-B.C. border - October 9, 2017)



Incident Location:

Caustic liquid spill near the Alberta-B.C. border