The continued presence of work crews on the highway frontage road near 19th Avenue three weeks after a truck went off the road spilling diesel in the ditch has some Smithers residents concerned the spill was more serious than what has been reported.
Rob Blackburn, infrastructure and facilities manager for the Town of Smithers, said there is no cause for concern.
“The environmental company, EFI Global, on-site, is doing a thorough job and ensuring that the community is not left with a contaminated site,” he said. “As far as I understand the contaminants are being shipped to facilities in Prince George.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment said the delay in backfilling the excavation is to the fact the company was waiting for results from confirmatory samples to come back to ensure all of the contamination had been removed.
Early on the morning of Aug. 19 a tractor-trailer slid off the highway.
According to the ministry, approximately 5,000 litres of fuel spilled into the ditch and was contained by a dirt berm.
The spill was caused by a rear pump that had a failed valve and resulted in the release of diesel fuel to the ground, but the forward tank remained intact and did not leak, the ministry said.
The driver of the truck was given a traffic violation ticket.
“Without due care and attention, we believe they weren’t paying attention and went off-road right,” said Cpl. Kevin Christensen.
The trucking company hired EFI to do the remediation.