A cleanup continues along Highway 19 just south of the Hamm Road intersection where a fatal accident involving a tractor-trailer occurred Sept. 5.
The vehicle — which was carrying 50,000 litres of diesel — rolled into a ditch, spilling the fuel.
A spokesperson for the Environment Ministry says the responsible party, Bridgeway Trucking of Chemainus, has contracted a number of consulting firms to undertake the required cleanup and remediation work. EcoFish Research of Courtenay has been determining the environmental impacts of the spill.
“Due to the potential for water impacts, the responsible party has installed test wells for monitoring and detection purposes,” the spokersperson stated.
A senior officer is overseeing the work to ensure it is compliant with the Environmental Management Act.
Bridgeway is on the hook for cleanup costs, under the polluter pay model in B.C.
“It’s a very heavy cost, for sure,” said Jeff Salmon, the company’s general manager.
He said an incident such as this entails a couple of components: an emergency response, which lasted about three days, and plans made by the retained firms to determine how to move forward, and how to contain the diesel to the smallest area possible.
“Which was done. It’s so far been successful, and plans are being made now to move the contaminated product off site.”
The ministry spokesperson said that the Oyster River “is not close to the spill site and there is no impacts to it.
“The incident is in the Black Creek area and there is wetland and marsh in the immediate area.”
Salmon said the tragic event has impacted many people as well as the company.
“And others, of course.”