The section of Highway 3 south of Princeton is notoriously treacherous to navigate
The Ministry of Environment and other government agencies are jumping into action after a diesel transport truck spilled its load, potentially contaminating the water of a creek that flows into the Similkameen River.
The Ministry of Environment says in a statement to CKNW has the diesel transport truck lost around 20,000 litres of diesel fuel after an accident on Highway 3 south of Princeton earlier today.
The Ministry says an “undetermined amount” entered Saturday Creek, which flows into the Similkameen River.
The trucking company has retained RAM Environmental as an emergency response contractor.
The ministry says its notified the Lower and Upper Similkameen Bands, Interior Health and Washington State.
The highway is now open to single lane alternating traffic.
Advisory: Similkameen River Spill
The Ministry of Environment and Interior Health are currently following up on reports of a diesel fuel spill into the Similkameen River from a motor vehicle accident.
This is approximately eight kilometres east of East Gate, near Manning Park. The exact amount of fuel spilled is not yet known.
As a precaution, Interior Health is advising residents who draw water from the Similkameen River downstream of the spill site to be on the lookout for signs of fuel contamination.
Do Not Use the river water if it smells or tastes like fuel. This includes for irrigation or agricultural purposes.
Diesel fuel can pose a health risk following ingestion, inhalation and skin absorption.
Residents who have private water sources that draw from the river, or from shallow wells near the river in the affected area are advised to avoid use of the water if they smell or taste fuel, or if they see a fuel sheen on the surface of the water. Interior Health will continue to monitor the situation for any risks to the health and safety of residents in the area.