Trailer still on site a month after fish oil spill
The semi trailer involved in the fish oil spill more than a month ago still has yet to be removed from the scene.
In an emailed statement to the Fitzhugh last week, Parks Canada said that it was in the process of hiring a remediation company to complete the site cleanup.
“The remediation company will assess the site, including securing the remaining materials in the trailer before it is moved. The impacted soils and spill response materials will be removed from the site and disposed of in an approved facility. Native grasses will be seeded on the impacted ground,” the statement read.
A transport truck heading eastward on Highway 16 struck an elk near midnight on Feb. 15. The driver swerved, thinking that he had avoided hitting the animal. The manoeuvre, however, caused part of his load to shift. A 1,000-litre container of crude pollock (fish) oil tipped over, spilling entirely out onto the roadway starting a few hundred metres west of the Hazel Avenue intersection and ending where the vehicle stopped at the roadside pullout.
A team from Parks Canada was joined by first responders from the municipality to clean up as much fish oil as they could and keep the roadway in drivable condition.
Parks Canada continues to engage with both the trucking company and the owners of the contents of the trailer and their insurance providers on the remediation of the site.
The remediation company will assess the site, including securing the remaining materials in the trailer before it is moved. The impacted soils and spill response materials will be removed from the site and disposed of in an approved facility. Native grasses will also be seeded on the impacted ground.
“The first stages of the remediation work will happen as soon as possible to remove the fish oil before it becomes a significant bear attractant when they awaken this spring,” the statement noted.
The remaining containers of fish oil inside the trailer have been assessed for damage and any that have potential to spill additional product are being cleaned out, along with any loose oil within the trailer.
“Once we can confirm no further spill potential, and the load secured within the trailer, it will be impounded to a secure facility,” the statement continued.
That work was expected to occur over this past weekend, but Parks Canada explained that cleaning out the damaged containers has taken longer than anticipated.
Parks Canada continues to monitor the spill site, and will continue to do so in the coming months as spring arrives and the snow melts to reveal the landscape.
Calls to Alberta-based Sher Singh Logistics, the transport company involved, continue unanswered.
Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh