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Diesel fuel impacting Heiltsuk First Nation’s breadbasket
Gale Creek slick. (Credit: Heiltsuk First Nation)

Diesel fuel impacting Heiltsuk First Nation’s breadbasket

Heiltsuk Nation responders maintaining oil boom. (Credit: Heiltsuk First Nation)

Heiltsuk Nation responder maintaining oil boom. (Credit: Heiltsuk First Nation)

A seal carcass has been found east of the site where a tugboat ran aground along BC’s remote central coast two weeks ago.

The Nathan E. Stewart tug was carrying about 226,000 litres of diesel fuel, which began leaking when it hit rocks and sank about 28 kilometres from Bella Bella.

Clean-up crews have worked to pump the remaining fuel from the vessel, as wildlife inspectors measure the impact on the area.

In question period yesterday, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen grilled the Liberal government over its response to the spill.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau responded that the government is working on an announcement.

The latest situation report says the seal will be tested to determine whether the spill contributed to its death, and no other oil-impacted wildlife has been observed, but Heiltsuk Nation councillor Jess Housty has tweeted there’s an increase in reports of dead wildlife.

Russel Windsor of the Heiltsuk Nation says the spill has devastated their bread basket.

In a release, the Heiltsuk say their responders have been on the ground for 16 straight days with no relief, while government and industry agencies are already on their second cycle of replacement personnel.

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