Environmental charges delay Goldstream fuel spill court hearing

An expected guilty plea to a criminal charge linked to last year’s fuel truck crash outside at Goldstream park is delayed until June.

An expected guilty plea to one of the criminal charges linked to last year’s fuel truck crash outside Goldstream park is delayed until June.

Lawyer Dale Marshall had Thursday’s hearing held over until June 7 after learning his client, James Allan Smith, was also charged with three environmental infractions related to dumping fuel in Goldstream River.

Marshall admitted he was caught off guard by the new charges, which were filed with the court on March 23.

“We knew there was an environmental review and a lot of work being done in the (Goldstream) area, but there was no indication (the Crown) was contemplating further charges,” Marshall said Thursday, shortly after reading the charge sheet for the first time.

Smith is criminally charged with two counts related to impaired driving and one count of  dangerous operation of a motor vehicle in the April 16, 2011, Columbia Fuels truck crash on the Malahat Drive near Goldstream park.

The crash spilled 42,000 litres of gasoline and 700 litres of diesel into a culvert that empties into Goldstream River. The b-train truck itself flipped and plowed into a rock face.

Smith now faces additional charges under the Environmental Management Act of unlawfully allowing gasoline and diesel into the environment by way of a motor vehicle crash while on the job. The second count alleges Smith introduced gasoline and diesel into the environment in such a manner as to cause pollution.

Under the Fisheries Act, he is charged with depositing gasoline and diesel into an environment where it may enter water frequented by fish.

Marshall said he wants to address both sets of charges at once in court. “They are the same incident, why not deal with them at the same time?”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alice Munro among Nobel Prize winners urging Trudeau to deny oilsands project

Alberta premier says Teck’s Frontier mine would create 7,500 jobs, $70 billion in government revenue

Folk-roots duo play Metchosin’s music coffee house

Event takes place at 4430 Happy Valley Rd. from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22

Oak Bay cyclist runner-up in Spanish stage race

Adam de Vos on podium amongst World Tour best in Spain

SD62 asks Colwood to help fund crossing guard at Wishart Elementary

‘We’re just overly congested,’ says PAC president

Saanich Police respond to petition for new police agency on Lindsay Buziak murder case

Petition asks Public Safety Minister to to help find justice for slain realtor

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

UPDATE: Lockdown lifted at Nanaimo high school following threats

Nearby elementary school was in hold-and-secure

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Most Read