The City of Richmond is in a unique location within the estuary of the Fraser River: one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world, and an important conduit for industry and trade. Our inland watercourses are connected to the river, as is our soil. As such, the rapid identification, containment, and clean-up of spilled materials are vital to protecting the environment.
There are many types of spills, and different materials represent different risks to the environment and to human health. The first response any member of the public should have in the event of a spill is to assure that human lives and health are not immediately at risk. Once you and the public are made safe, the spill should be reported.
In British Columbia, a person responsible for a spill and any person who observes an unattended spill, is required by the Spill Reporting Regulation to report the spill if it includes a “reportable” amount of the substance. Reportable levels vary by substance, a guide is available here.
Reporting a Spill
If you see a spill that appears to be an immediate threat to health and safety, you should always call 911 and allow the Fire Department to protect life and property.
If you accidentally spill a reportable volume of polluting material, or if you see a spill occur and suspect it includes a reportable volume of spilled materials that may present an immediate risk to the environment, you should call the Provincial Emergency Program spill reporting line at:
1-800-663-3456 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
If you see a slick of oil or fuel in the river or in the ocean, or if you have a spill from your boat, you can contact the Marine Spill Reporting line at 1-800-OILS-911 (24 hours/day, 7 days/week)
If you spot a spill that doesn’t appear to be an immediate threat to human health, is not likely a reportable level, or have a concern or inquiry about pollution of the soil or groundwater that is not an emergency, you can contact the BC Ministry of Environment non-emergency inquiry address at
Reporting other types of Pollution
To see about reporting Air Pollution concerns (smoke, dust, odours, vapours), follow this link to the Air Quality Page.
If you see a dumping incident that is not necessarily a spill, or have a concern regarding the storage or management of polluting substances in the City, contaminated soils, or water quality concerns about the City’s drainage system, you can contact the City’s Environmental Sustainability group during City Hall hours at:
604-247-4694, or e-mail EnvSustainability@richmond.ca