Clandestine Drug Lab Waste Spill North of Rock Creek

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 2, 2017
Name Clandestine Drug Lab Waste Spill North of Rock Creek (DGIR: 163478)
Source Clandestine Drug Lab
Nearest Community Rock Creek, B.C.
Spilled Content Clandestine drug lab waste (Specific material currently unknown)
Who is involved? B.C. Ministry of Environment, B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, EMBC, RCMP, B.C. Interior Health Authority


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 10, 2017 - 5:30pm

Approximately 30 cubic meters of contaminated soil has been excavated from the property that previously contained the illicit drug lab. The contaminated soil has been stockpiled within a berm area that was lined with plastic. The soil has been covered with tarps to prevent further leaching during a potential rain event.

Four wells have been drilled on the illicit drug lab property in order to take groundwater samples. Samples were taken from each well and shipped to the lab. Interior Health Authority will maintain their 'do not use water' public service announcement until additional sampling takes place and results are assessed. The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary continues to provide access to safe drinking water for affected citizens. The Ministry of Agriculture will be awaiting sample results to determine if cattle are required to be relocated.

An Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) from B.C. Ministry of Environment continues to monitor the incident.

March 7, 2017 - 8:53 am

Consultants retained by B.C. Ministry of Environment returned to the site on March 6th and are staging equipment at the site to begin drilling sample wells on the impacted property. The drilling of these sample wells is scheduled for March 8th and March 9th. The consultants are approved professionals with a background working on contaminated sites. An assessment of the ground and surface water in the area was completed to determine the priority areas for sampling. The heavily impacted soil at the source property will be excavated and contained on tarps to prevent migration into adjacent properties.

B.C. Ministry of Environment continues to work with Interior Health Authority (IHA) to consider refining the current boundaries of the 'do not use water' advisory published by the IHA. B.C. Ministry of Environment is expecting to receive soil and water sample results at the end of the week. These samples were taken on Friday March 3rd at the source property. Sampling was done by a consultant and an B.C. Ministry of  Environment Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO).

March 2, 2017 – 8pm

RCMP are investigating a clandestine drug lab north of Rock Creek, B.C. While collecting evidence, they noted both liquid and solid waste from the lab had been dumped to ground. The exact contents of the drug lab waste are unknown at this time. A contractor specializing in hazardous waste material is onsite to aid in cleanup. An Environmental Emergency response officer from B.C. Ministry of Environment is overseeing the cleanup and sampling. B.C. Interior Health Authority has issued a DO NOT USE order for water in a three-kilometre radius around the site in question. Please see the Public Service Announcement (PDF) for more information. Members of the public are asked to stay away from the site to allow response officers and RCMP to work efficiently. Further updates will be provided as additional information is available.