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Photo:  Another dump truck load is dropped off at the Formula Powell yard – Adam Reaburn/

The Ministry of the Environment has confirmed clean-up operations are underway following a spill of used engine oil last week northeast of the city.

Environmental Emergency Response Officer, Terry Sawchuk says the spill occurred a week ago today when a valve was left slightly open on the back of a Formula Powell truck.

It led to about 12 thousand litres of used oil being spilled over a 44 kilometer stretch of the Fontas Road.

Sawchuk says a grader had wind-rowed the contaminated snow into the middle of the road and it is now being trucked to the companies Fort St. John storage site. He expects more than one hundred dump truck loads taken to the site and once there, the plan is to have the snow melted to recover the water, the waste oil and any contaminated gravel or soil.

Fort St. John Mayor Bruce Lantz says the city is concerned with the way the material is being dealt with. [asset|aid=1101|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=1de0cfdfa112867ec3e8ef4d3ad78970-Bruce – formula cleanup_1_Pub.mp3]

The city has made contact with the Ministry of Environment to express concern and to find out why the Ministry recommended this type of clean up.

Once the snow has melted, it will then be trucked for disposal to the Silverberry land fill on the mile 73 road.

Sawchuk says the reason the contaminated snow wasn’t taken to the land fill in the first place, was to minimize the amount of material that would have to be trucked, over the extended distance.

Photo:  This is just one of the snow piles at the Forumla Powell yard in Fort St. John – Adam Reaburn/

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