Effective October 30, 2018, the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy made it mandatory for any regulated person carrying 10,000 Liters or more of fuel to have a current, up-to-date BC Spill Contingency Plan in place.

The client was transporting >50,000L of Diesel fuel when it was in an MVA, causing the truck and trailer to flip and slide off the road.

QM Environmental Services & Solutions

Emergency Planning

The client had recently requested QM to build Spill Contingency Plan weeks before the incident occurred, outlined: Hazard Assessments.

  • Spill response planning map
  • Equipment, personnel, and other resources
  • ICS structure and Mutual aids
  • Human Health and Safety
  • Communications
  • Waste Management
  • Wildlife
  • Spill response procedures and necessary training

The Incident

Super B tanker was driving on Highway 1 with poor weather conditions causing the driver to veer off the road and flip upside down.  The truck was lodged between the highway and CP rail line.

QM was dispatched and on the scene in less than 2 hours from activation from the initial caller.

Due to the tanker being upside down and compromised, QM had to drill into the tanker at multiple points to remove the product into a receiving tanker.

Multiple leak points were present during the initial scene size up. Booms, pads and other mitigation controls were put down to prevent any migration of product outside the initial release zone.

QM recovered over 98% of the product through initial product recovery during transfer, vac truck recovery and initial remediation of high impacted and surficial areas.

The product had leaked under Highway 1, and further remediation was no longer an option.  Monitor wells were installed for ongoing liquid and vapour recovery at a fraction of the cost.

Environmental Remediation

  • QM coordinated the initial excavation of approximately 200 MT of impacted soil from Highway 1 right-of-way.
  • An additional 35 MT of soil was excavated during a second” hot-spot” excavation.
  • The excavation was backfilled to grade, compacted, and the road right of way reconstructed to MOTI specifications under the guidance of a geotechnical engineer.

Environmental Investigation

QM completed a Stage 1 Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) to determine the likelihood that current or previous site activities may have contaminated the site before conducting any additional environmental investigations. Areas of Potential Environmental Concern (APEC) and Potential Contaminants of Concern (PCOC) were identified.

A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment was completed to investigate and delineate soil, groundwater, and soil vapour impacts that remain beneath Highway 1.

Soil impacts are delineated horizontally and vertically.

Completion of seasonal groundwater and soil vapour sampling expecting by early 2022.

Case Study Takeaways

Pre-planning and preparedness can significantly minimize the negative effects during any emergency.  Having a response company like QM writing and executing plans can speed up activation and response during an incident.

Ensuring all plans are tested regularly involving the carrier, regulators and response contractors will help communications and response’s during incidents.

Having good relationships with regulators, railways and clients ensured a high level of trust during this response.

For more information regarding QM’s Emergency Management/Response services, visit our Emergency Management Page

Project Info

Oil Tanker and first Responder


Date of Incident:
January 6th,2021

Highway 1, BC