UPDATED 3:15 P.M. WEDNESDAY, NOV. 25:
The Ministry of Environment continues to monitor the clean-up work underway at Centex gas station,9912 Kalamalka Road, in Coldstream, following the gas spill last night.
The District of Coldstream announced that Kalamalka Road is expected to be reopened to traffic at approximately 3 p.m. There will be intermittent traffic delays throughout the evening as
the clean-up work continues. Please obey all traffic signs and watch for crews working in and on Kalamalka Road.
The Coldstream Municipal Office will reopen Thursday at 8 a.m.
In conversation with the Vernon School District, Coldstream Elementary School will also reopen on Thursday.
Investigators are trying to determine what led to 6,000 litres of gasoline to spill on to the ground in Coldstream.
The incident occurred just after midnight Wednesday when a fuel truck was filling up the tanks at Coldstream Market on Kalamalka Road.
“It’s definitely an overfill of the storage tank. The cause is under investigation,” said Rick Wagner, an emergency response officer with the Ministry of Environment.
“It’s not clear what happened.”
The driver of the truck has been interviewed.
As a result of the fuel spill, Coldstream Elementary and the Creekside Montessori Children’s School were closed Wednesday.
“There’s lots of gas fumes and the air intake would suck that into the (elementary school) building,” said Joe Rogers, Vernon School District superintendent.
Also shut down was the Coldstream municipal office.
“Upon arrival, there was high concentrations of gas fumes,” said Trevor Seibel, the municipality’s chief administrative officer, adding that there was a concern about staff and public safety.
The municipal office was supposed to host an advance poll today for the arena referendum Wednesday but that was shifted to the regional district office and Vernon city hall.
Residents in the area were advised to remain inside their homes but to leave if they smelled gas.
Kalamalka Road remains closed to traffic from Whetzell Drive to Aberdeen Road, and activities were cancelled at the Women’s Institute Hall.
The investigation could possibly lead to charges being laid.
“I can’t speak to whether that will happen,” said Wagner.
Contractors arrived on scene soon after the spill and they have been sucking up gasoline and scraping away contaminated snow.
“We’re fortunate that there’s enough snow that absorbed the fuel.”
That has kept the gasoline from spreading, and it’s not believed Coldstream Creek has been impacted.
“Fuel went into the catch basins but nothing migrated into the storm sewer or water bodies,” said Wagner.
Final cleanup could possibly take up to a week but it’s anticipated Coldstream Market, the schools and the municipal office will be open Thursday.
As part of the design of the store, a fuel containment system was developed.
“It’s worked as intended in terms of containing the fuel to that specific site,” said Seibel.
The trucking company’s insurance provider has consultants involved in the remediation.