Environmental vandals sought

It's estimated about 50 gallons of dirty used engine oil was dumped in the bush off Smith Creek Road Monday night or early Tuesday morning. Authorities are hoping a tip will lead to the culprit.
— image credit: contributed

If you’ve seen a truck around West Kelowna with a box that’s dripping with used engine oil, conservation officers would like to hear from you.

CO Ed Seitz says about 50 gallons of dirty, black, used engine oil was dumped over the bank up Smith Creek Road in West Kelowna either Monday night or in the early hours of Tuesday morning, along with plastic totes, barrels and used engine oil filters.

The grasses and wild plants are coated with the oil, the ground is saturated with it, and there’s a trail of the black oil leading from the site down to Elliott Road, along Reece Road toward Old Okanagan Highway and along there towards Shannon Lake Road, said Seitz.

“It looks like the guy just backed up to the ravine and let the whole pallet full of stuff fly out of the back of his truck,” commented Seitz.

However, he believes the lids on the plastic totes must have popped off on the way up, allowing the dirty oil to slop out and drip off the back of the truck.

A similar incident occurred in the Smith Creek Road area in March when someone dumped a variety of auto parts and oily waste alongside the road, noted Seitz.

Although that suspect was never found, it was reported by some businesses that a fellow was collecting the junk for disposal.

He was described as in his early 40s and he drove a light blue, beat-up, late 1980s or early 1990s Ford F150 pickup with a regular single cab, a short box and an exhaust leak.

It’s possible this may be the same person, said Seitz.

If any business has had someone haul away used oil or filters, the CO service would like to talk to them. Call the tips line toll-free at: 1-877-952-7277 if you have any information that could be helpful.

Some of the oil filters were very large such as might fit a large diesel engine and as well there were two or three 15-gallon black rubber tubs, a blue tote, a blue bucket, a couple of five-gallon pails, two large yellow fuel filters and a white one, some four-litre jugs and a blue wooden pallet.

Used engine oil can be recycled without charge at many local automotive shops, Seitz said.

Dumping such waste in the bush is an offence under the provincial environmental management act and is liable to fines of $575 by ticket, or up to $1 million and/or six months in jail if a court appearance is required.

The Central Okanagan Regional District has cleaned up similar dumps in that area, reports park warden Blaise Laveay.

The last was July 11, when a dump of used engine oil and buckets was cleaned up by the regional district in the Smith Creek area, but it's not known who will conduct this clean-up.


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