Friday, July 15, 2011

About Fuel Spills

Well, so far there has been no response to any of my e-mails to BC Parks or Columbia Fuels about the fuel slick we found in Tod Inlet on Sunday, July 10. But I did discover that there is an official provincial emergency number to call to report hazardous materials and oil spills! And thank you to our reader Jo, who also put that information in our comments.

Here in British Columbia, call the 24-hour Spill Line toll-free at 1-800-663-3456 to report when you see a spill of gasoline, oil, or any other kind of hazardous material. The Spill Line is just one part of the Provincial Emergency Program. This particular office responds to reports of emergencies on land but will take calls about spills on water and forward the case to the appropriate federal agency. This same toll-free number can be called any time of day or night to report any kind of emergency including flooding, boaters in distress, or wildfire. Here's their Weekly Incident Report from last week. Busy people!
Anywhere in California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, call the International Marine Oil Spill Reporting line toll-free at 1-800-OILS-911 to report when you see a spill of any kind of fuel on the water.

Those are good phone number for kayakers to know. I now keep them on the cell phone that I carry while on the water, as well as the number for the DFO’s Observe, Record and Report 24-hour hotline at 1-800-465-4336. That number is toll-free. Call to report any sightings of marine mammals in distress. Or if you happen to see any sea turtle, healthy or in distress, call the DFO!

There are other citizens concerned about fuel spills, who are working to promote public awareness and to encourage corporations to behave responsibly. Check out the report at the Dogwood Initiative about one local kid's group and their activities!

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