Diesel Spill South of Port McNeill

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 March 10, 2017
Name Diesel Spill south of Port McNeill (DGIR: 163561)
Source Diesel tank near shore
Nearest Community Kelsey Bay, B.C. 
Spilled Content Diesel fuel volume undetermined. Fuel tank capacity is approximately 1,100 litres 
Who is involved? B.C. Ministry of Environment, Emergency Management B.C., Canadian Coast Guard, Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada, Tlowitsis First Nation.


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

March 11, 2017 - 3:50pm

Two Environmental Emergency Response Officers (EEROs) conducted a site visit of the incident area today with a Guardian Watchman from the Tlowitsis First Nation. The source of the spill has been identified as a diesel fuel tank belonging to Port Harvey Resort. The tank was reportedly filled several days ago with approximately 1,000 litres of fuel.

A small pinhole leak was discovered on the bottom of the tank and the tank is now empty. EEROs observed a rainbow sheen and a strong fuel odour between the tank and the high tide water line, approximately 10 feet away. Spotty areas of sheen were visible on the surface water extending approximately one kilometre out from the source location. All visible sheen was deemed unrecoverable due to its limited thickness.

Sediment samples were taken from the source site and along the shoreline in the direction of water flow. Water samples were taken at the shoreline and in the open water at the end of the resort's dock. 

EEROs will be contacting the owner again today to provide him with additional information on required actions to address the spill as the responsible party. B.C. Ministry of Environment staff have left the incident site but will continue to monitor the actions of the responsible party. 

No further updates are anticipated for this incident. 

March 10, 2017 - 4:20pm

A Transport Canada overflight confirms sheening in the Port Harvey area. Canadian Coast Guard has conducted an initial assessment. It is now estimated that 178 litres has spread over the area. At this point, it has been determined that there is no recoverable product. Canadian Coast Guard will remain on-scene. Two Environmental Emergency Response Officers (EEROs) from B.C. Ministry of Environment are enroute to the spill incident to conduct additional assessments. 

March 10, 2017 - 2:30pm

An Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) with B.C. Ministry of Environment received a report of a potential diesel spill near the Port Harvey Marina, located south of Port McNeill. A private citizen reported fuel on the beach and in the water near the marina.

A Canadian Coast Guard vessel is enroute to assess the scene and deploy sorbent pads if necessary as an initial response measure. Additional response actions will be determined based on information collected during the Canadian Coast Guard's assessment. First Nation communities in the area have been notified. 

The tank is believed to have a maximum capacity of 1,100 litres of diesel. The marina owner has been contacted by the Environmental Emergency Response Officer and is sending an employee to check the site. The marina is currently closed for the season.  It is unknown how much may have entered the environment at this time.