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South Slave

Cleanup underway for contaminated soil spill near Hay River

Last modified: August 19, 2021 at 6:02pm


RCMP say a cleanup is underway after a tractor trailer rolled over and spilled contaminated soil near Hay River. 

According to a press release, the single vehicle collision occurred around 5:45am on Highway 2 approximately 10 kilometres south of Hay River. The driver of the vehicle was not seriously injured.

A cleanup crew has been sent from Fort Smith to help with the spill. Police said the contamination of the soil that spilled on the shoulder of the road and into the ditch was of a low level.

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In an email to Cabin Radio, a spokesperson for the NWT Department of Environment and Natural Resources said approximately 22 tonnes of soil was spilled over a 40 metres strip between Hay River and Enterprise. The “historic low level radioactive contaminated soil” was being transported from the landfill in Fort Smith to a facility in Alberta as part of a landfill remediation project.

The spokesperson said inspectors from the department are working with the RCMP and representatives from the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories on the cleanup. There is currently no risk to public safety but as a precaution nearby standing water is being vacuumed for disposal.

RCMP are recommending that motorists avoid unnecessary travel in the area until the cleanup is complete.

An excavator works to cleanup the spilled soil. Photo: Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Damage to a truck that left the road near Hay River. Photo: Supplied

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