Cause of hydrocarbon spill in northeast B.C. under investigation

·1 min read
The spill, which occurred in Rolla in B.C.'s Peace region, was reported to B.C.'s Ministry of the Environment on Friday and an investigation began Saturday. (Andrew Kurjata/CBC - image credit)
The spill, which occurred in Rolla in B.C.'s Peace region, was reported to B.C.'s Ministry of the Environment on Friday and an investigation began Saturday. (Andrew Kurjata/CBC - image credit)

Residents of the northeastern B.C. community of Rolla were warned this weekend they might have to shelter in place because of a hydrocarbon spill in the community.

The Peace River Regional District says it was contacted by the B.C. Ministry of the Environment on Saturday about the spill in a ditch in Rolla, 22 kilometres northeast of Dawson Creek.

Residents were warned to stay away from the site and to shelter in place should the odour from the spill intensify.

In a statement posted to its website on Tuesday, the district said the site had stabilized and the odour had dissipated significantly, but residents should still avoid the area.

Neither the exact substance nor the source of the spill is known, but the ministry has hired an environmental spill consultant to take samples from the ditch and surrounding area and develop a remediation plan.

The ministry says it is still investigating what happened.

Hydrocarbons are a large group of compounds that include fossil fuels such as natural gas and petroleum.

According to the incident page on the environment ministry's website, emergency response officers began investigating at the site on Saturday, a day after the spill was reported, and absorbent pads and an underflow dam were being used to contain the substance.

It says residents had informed the officer they were concerned about fumes, drinking water and the health of livestock.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting