The Manager of Environmental Services with the Cariboo Regional District says they have no jurisdiction over a fuel leak at Lhtako Gas & Convenience store.
Peter Hughes says the CRD is basically an interested observer.
“We’ve been monitoring the situation by participating in the coordination calls that have been hosted by the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. They’re in environmental emergency programs, so we have no jurisdiction in this. We don’t operate any water systems in the area. Folks there are all on wells.”
Hughes says the CRD does have a sanitary sewer system in that area but it has not been impacted.
“We’ve just been cooperating by providing information to the environmental consultant on this. SLR Consulting has been looking for drawings and such on our sewer system.”
In December of 2020, a leak occurred during the installation of new fuel storage tanks at Lhtako Gas & Convenience Store but it wasn’t discovered until June of 2022.
It’s estimated that approximately 110,000 litres of gasoline may have leaked from the underground fuel line for approximately 18 months.
That fuel line has since ben repaired and residents in an area of notification have had their water tested for gasoline-related chemicals.
As of this past Wednesday (April 19), the Lhtako Dene Nation says water on three properties have been affected.
It says they are now working with those property owners to provide accommodations and to establish an alternate safe water supply.
Environmental investigations to assess the extent of the contamination are being done in coordination with Indigenous Services Canada, the BC Ministry of Environment, Northern Health, and the First Nation Health Authority.