News Release Tla-o-qui -aht First Nations

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

News Release

Tla-o-qui -aht First Nations

June 19, 2017


On Thursday, June 16t h, a tanker accident in the Upper Kennedy Lake area released approximately 3,000 litres of aviation fuel resulting in the shutdown of Highway 4 for approximately 24 hours. The spill has impacted the immediate site as well as the adjacent lake. Kennedy Lake is an important fish bearing site which is of critical importance to the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations.


Chief Elmer Frank expressed his appreciation to those who were involved in mitigation and fuel recovery effort s. "Thank you to all responders that attended on site the first evening of the spill, which helped to minimize the spill impact. We are also glad that no-one was hurt in this accident."


Chief Frank also wanted to thank the many people who offered to respond to the site to provide assistance. Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Park Guardians attended the site Thursday evening immediately upon hearing of the spill, and are continuing their presence since that time.


Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations is currently awaiting information from biologists and a geotechnical engineer to determine soil impacts and a proposed remediation plan. It is likely that soil will have to be excavated and removed as part of the remediation.


Recommended Actions


•          Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations wishes to play an integral role in the review and implementation of any mitigation plan developed under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment.


•          Tla-o-qui-aht Guardians need more access to Spill Kits to be able to mobilize faster in responding to these incidents within their traditional territory.


•          Better communication protocols to be established with stakeholder agencies and local First Nations.


•          That part of any resolution of this incident include habitat restoration and measures to support salmon enhancement to mitigate any further decline of fish stocks.