CMH Galena is a lodge in the mountains north of Nakusp. Lardeau Creek is in the valley to the right of the photo (Screen capture from CMH website)

UPDATE: Jet fuel spill clean-up underway at CMH Galena Lodge

Lodge situated on major feeder creek to Trout Lake

UPDATE: 6:00 p.m.

A heli-skiing operation is cleaning up after a jet fuel leak at one of its back-country lodges north of Nakusp.

The spill at the CMH Galena Lodge occurred about 10 days ago, says a release from the Ministry of Environment. The lodge is located in the Badshot range of the Selkirk Mountains, about 80 kilometres by highway north of Nakusp.

Environment officials say between 5,000 and 6,500 litres of helicopter jet fuel was released from an underground storage tank. They say the spill has been contained.

The lodge is owned by Canadian Mountain Holidays Heli-skiing and Summer Adventures, based in Alberta.

“Environmental remediation and assessment experts were brought in immediately on discovery to contain the release, evaluate the impact and lead remediation efforts,” says a news release from CMH. “Their efforts are ongoing and will continue until all related impacts are addressed.”

CMH says an environmental response officer from the BC Ministry of Environment has advised them that “he is extremely satisfied with the approach and progress to date”.

“The fuel distribution system has been contained and the outside experts have advised that there are no indications of any downstream impacts in Lardeau Creek or Trout Lake,” CMH says. “Environmental monitoring of the conditions is proceeding on a daily basis.”

Nearby Lardeau Creek drains into Trout Lake, which eventually leads into Kootenay Lake.

But some locals in the community of Trout Lake who contacted Arrow Lakes News about the spill say they’re frustrated.

Wes Heck, who’s lived on Lardeau Creek for the last four years, isn’t impressed with the lack of communication.

“It would be nice to know what’s going on,” he says. “No one really knows around here.”

Heck’s house is about 10 kilometres downstream from the lodge, and they draw some of their drinking water from Lardeau Creek.

“How close was the spill to the water? What are they doing to clean it up?” he asks. “I’ve spilt diesel when I grew up in Alberta, and you don’t know where it could be going under the snow.”

But another Trout Lake resident contacted by Arrow Lakes News says he’s satisfied how the cleanup is proceeding.

“Our family’s been here 30 years, and they’ve always been good neighbours,” says Don Coller about CMH. Coller owns the general store in Trout Lake.

“They’ve never been anything but helpful and cooperative,” he says. “It’s unfortunate, but stuff happens.”

CMH says the incident has not affected Galena Lodge or its guests and it remains in full operation.

….

ORIGINAL

A heli-skiing operation is cleaning up after a fuel leak at one of its back-country lodges north of Nakusp.

The spill at the CMH Galena Lodge occurred just over a week ago, says a ministry official. The lodge is located in the Badshot range of the Selkirk Mountains, about 80 kilometres by highway north of Nakusp.

It’s not known what the leaked fuel was, or how much fuel spilt.

“Environmental remediation and assessment experts were brought in immediately on discovery to contain the release, evaluate the impact and lead remediation efforts,” says a news release from CMH, a mountain skiing tourism company based in Alberta. “Their efforts are ongoing and will continue until all related impacts are addressed.”

CMH says an environmental response officer from the BC Ministry of Environment has advised them that “he is extremely satisfied with the approach and progress to date”.

“The fuel distribution system has been contained and the outside experts have advised that there are no indications of any downstream impacts in Lardeau Creek or Trout Lake,” CMH says. “Environmental monitoring of the conditions is proceeding on a daily basis.”

As of publication time the ministry had not responded to a request for information on the spill.

Wes Heck, who’s lived on Lardeau Creek for the last four years, isn’t impressed with the lack of communication.

“It would be nice to know what’s going on,” he says. “No one really knows around here.

Heck’s house is about 10 kilometres downstream from the lodge, on Lardeau Creek.

“How close was the spill to the water? What are they doing to clean it up?” he asks. “I’ve spilled diesel when I grew up in Alberta, and you don’t know where it could be going under the snow.”

But another Trout Lake resident contacted by Arrow Lakes News says he’s satisfied how the cleanup is proceeding.

“Our family’s been here 30 years, and they’ve always been good neighbours,” says Don Coller, who owns the general store in Trout Lake. “They’ve never been anything but helpful and cooperative.”

“It’s unfortunate, but stuff happens.”

CMH says the incident has not affected Galena Lodge or its guests and it remains in full operation.

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