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UPDATE: IHA provides more information on RDCK release regarding Kootenay Pass fuel spill

Update from Interior Health:

This incident resulted in fuel contamination in the South Salmo River. Interior Health has identified no registered drinking water users downstream of the spill site and there is a low risk to public health. Residents who may draw their water from the river between the crash site and the Salmo River at the United States border, are advised to be alert and check their water for any signs of diesel fuel including sheen or fuel odour.

All residents and recreational users in the affected area should not use the river water if it smells or tastes like fuel. Fuel is easily detected by smell and taste at very low concentrations. This means no drinking, swimming, showering/bathing or brushing teeth if a fuel odour is detected. A short, one‐time exposure to fuel will not normally cause any long‐term health effects. Prolong exposure may result in eye or skin irritation, dizziness, difficulty breathing, headache and vomiting.

Initial release:

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is monitoring the situation involving a single-vehicle crash on Highway 3 at the Kootenay Pass yesterday evening that spilled a significant amount of fuel into the Salmo River. The driver of the vehicle was killed in the crash, and there were no additional injuries. The provincial environmental emergency response team is assessing the situation.

“The RDCK Emergency Management team is in contact with our partners at the Province and with the RCMP, and we are monitoring the situation,” said Chris Johnson, Emergency Program Manager at the RDCK. “Our role is to stay in contact with the Ministry of the Environment and Interior Health to ensure the safety of the public.”

Fuel and other hazardous material spills can happen on land or in the water. If water sources are affected or if communities are otherwise threatened, the public will be advised about what actions they should take.

Updates will be provided if needed via the RDCK website, Facebook and Twitter.

Highway 3 over the Kootenay Pass is currently closed. Drivers should visit www.drivebc.caor follow @DriveBCon Twitter for further updates about road closures and detours.

For more information:

·         Current emergency information is posted on the RDCK website here: www.rdck.ca/EOCINFO

·         Sign up for RDCK Emergency Notification System to receive notification of Evacuation Orders. Go to www.rdck.caand select “Emergency Alerts” from the home page, or go to the notification system sign-up page at https://rdckemergency.connectrocket.com

·         Emergency Information BC provides information about active provincial emergencies: https://www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/

·         Highway closures and conditions from DriveBC: http://www.drivebc.ca/

·         Emergency preparedness information and tips from the Prepared BC website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/preparedbc

Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves 60,000 residents in 11 electoral areas and nine member municipalities. The RDCK provides more than 160 services, including community facilities, fire protection and emergency services, grants, planning and land use, regional parks, resource recovery and handling, transit, water services, and much more. For more information about the RDCK, visit www.rdck.ca.

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