Washing tanker trucks likely cause of odour downtown yesterday

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A business washing tanker trucks is most likely what caused an odour similar to that of natural gas to permeate downtown Fort St. John yesterday.

Fire Chief Fred Burrows said that after crews were alerted to a report of someone dumping a petroleum product down a storm drain in the industrial park, fire crews discovered that tanker trucks were being washed at a local business. He says that a number of businesses in the industrial park have the ability to wash tank trucks, with the dirty water usually being diverted to a collection pit. Burrows added that the fire department often gets calls to investigate odours in the area, but that it was unusual for the smell to migrate across the highway into the downtown area.

Burrows stated that crews weren’t sure whether any violations were committed by the business in question, but said that the city doesn’t have a bylaw that specifically deals with this type of issue. The fire department notified the Environment Ministry to investigate further.