Coal Train Derailment near Hazelton

DISCLAIMER: Information provided is based on reports received by Emergency Management B.C. Information provided is considered to be current at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.

Incident Description

Incident Date: January 19, 2018
Name: Coal Train Derailment near Hazelton
Source: Train Derailment
Nearest Community: Hazelton
Spilled Content: Coal
Who is involved?: CN Rail, B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, Emergency Management B.C., Gitxsan First Nation, Environment & Climate Change Canada, Hemmera

Response Phase Detail

The responsible person or spiller is legally required to clean-up or manage the clean-up of a spill. In incidents where the responsible person is unknown, unable or unwilling to manage the clean up, the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy (MOE) may assume the role. The updates below reflect the Ministry’s oversight of the spillers’ actions; details describe the spill response phase, only, and not the complete lifecycle of the spill. See More Information for other related reports. 

Updates are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent at the top. Industry-specific language may be explained in the Glossary of Terms (PDF).

Most Recent Update

January 24, 2018 - 8:27 am

Canadian National Railway set up an environmental response trailer at the incident site yesterday (Tuesday, January 23) to handle communications and public requests. The trailer is located 200 meters west of the rail overpass on Highway 16 near South Hazelton. Public information will be available there starting today. 

Crews began removing the coal from Mission Creek by hand yesterday (Tuesday, January 23). It is estimated that between 180-200 cubic meters of coal remains on the slope between the rail line and Mission Creek. Additional work was done to prepare the slope for more extensive coal removal today. Response crews continue to work to maintain the silt fencing in the creek during the coal removal. 

A set of water, sediment, and in-stream coal samples were collected yesterday (Tuesday, January 23). An additional environmental response contractor, Hemmera, has been hired by Canadian National Railway to assist with assessing environmental impacts, monitoring the incident site, and sampling. Hemmera attended the site with specialists in environmental emergency response, toxicology and biology. 

Sample results will be provided to the B.C. Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy and shared with stakeholders, impacted First Nation communities and all agencies involved in the incident. An additional Environmental Emergency Response Officer (EERO) will be on site to provide increased oversight for the response. 

The next update will be provided as soon as new information is available.