Fuel Tanker Incident Near Kennedy Lake

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 June 15, 2017
Name Fuel Tanker Incident Near Kennedy Lake (DGIR 170954)
Source Overturned tanker truck
Nearest Community Ucluelet, B.C.
Spilled Content Jet A fuel
Who is involved? Emergency Management B.C., B.C. Ministry of Environment, B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Port Alberni Fire Rescue, Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade, RCMP, Canadian Air Crane, First Nations Health Authority, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC), NUCOR Environmental Solutions Ltd, Heatherton Industrial, TerraWest Environmental Inc.


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

June 21, 2017 - 1:08 pm

TerraWest, an environmental consultant hired by the spiller, conducted soil and surface water samples on June 19, 2017 to assess baseline concentrations of Jet A fuel at the site. According to TerraWest, there was minimal surface sheen observed on the lake at the time of their visit. The boom in the water at the incident site continues to be monitored and maintained.

TerraWest is working with B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, geotechnical engineers, and the spiller to create a remediation plan for the incident site that will also maintain the highway's structural integrity.

TerraWest states the site is stable and not currently an imminent risk to the environment. 

Incident Location

Fuel tanker incident near Kennedy Lake

June 17, 2017 - 1:34 pm

The pup trailer and debris from the accident were removed from the site yesterday (June 16) at 3:30 pm. The road was pressure washed and all impacted roadway soils and wash water were removed by a hyrdo-vac truck and transported to Hetherington Facility for proper disposal. BC Highway 4 re-opened just after 4 pm yesterday.
TerraWest Environmental Inc., an environmental consulting company, reports the incident site is stable at this time and there is low potential for immediate environmental impacts to Kennedy Lake or the surrounding environment. Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCRMC) is currently on site to maintain spill booms on Kennedy Lake throughout the weekend (June 17-18).
TerraWest Environmental Inc. will be conducting an inspection of the site and creating a remediation plan for the surrounding environment next week. Appropriate remedial efforts will begin at the site once the remediation plan is approved by the responsible party, B.C. Ministry of Environment, and B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. 

June 16, 2017 - 4:30 pm

The fuel recovery operation involving the overturned pup trailer is nearing completion. BC Highway 4 is now open to single lane, alternating traffic. 

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC), a contractor hired by the responsible party, will keep some staff on site throughout the weekend to continue clean-up efforts. Contractors will be conducting sampling throughout the weekend as well.

B.C. Ministry of Environment will continue to monitor the incident. Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available. 

highway 4 fuel spill

The Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade stabilizing the fuel spill near Kennedy Lake on BC Hwy 4

June 15, 2017

(Photo courtesy of District of Ucluelet)

June 16, 2017 - 12:32 pm

Hazardous material clean-up contractors have been hired to finish transferring fuel out of the impacted fuel tanker pup trailer and to address fuel contamination around the incident site. Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) arrived on site this morning and they are conducting an on-water assessment in conjunction with B.C. Ministry of Environment response officers and TerraWest Environmental. 

It is estimated up to 3000 L of Jet A fuel may have been spilled. Most of the fuel appears to have been confined to the highway due to the right-of-way barrier. When fuel transfer operations have concluded, responders will be able to release a more exact amount.

BC Highway 4 will remain closed until salvage operations have concluded to ensure the safety of responders and the public. Please refer to the DriveBC website for updates on the highway closure.

June 16, 2017 - 8:37 am

A tanker truck and pup trailer hauling Jet A fuel overturned yesterday afternoon (Thursday, June 15) on Highway 4, between Port Alberni and the Ucluelet Junction. The accident caused some product to be released but the amount remains unknown at this time. It was reported the driver was not seriously injured, however, they have been taken to the hospital as a precaution. Highway 4 remains closed in both directions at this time. Closure information is posted to the Drive BC website.

Port Alberni Fire Rescue, Ucluelet Fire Rescue, RCMP and two Ministry of Environment response officers arrived on scene yesterday evening. Absorbent boom was deployed and fuel off-loading operations took place. As the responsible party, Canadian Air Crane has hired Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) to aid in the clean up. WCMRC is expected to be on site this morning and will provide an assessment of spill impacts. 

Vancouver Island Health Authority and First Nations Health Authority were both notified yesterday. First Nations Health Authority has notified the Ucluelet First Nation and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.

No drinking water suppliers were identified near the incident site. Further updates will be provided as more details become available.