The Interior Health Authority (IHA) has confirmed the sodium hydroxide that spilled yesterday when a tractor trailer crashed on the Coquihalla Highway around Larson Hill has leaked into the Coldwater River.

IHA spokesperson Michaela Swan told the Herald the IHA and Ministry of Environment have been monitoring the situation, and the initial findings are that the risk to human health from this spill is low.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment told the Herald the tanker truck spilled a large quantity of the corrosive glue, some of the material entered the Coldwater River and it is visible along the bottom of the river.

Water samples are being taken both upstream and downstream and will be sent to a lab for testing.

Environment Canada’s National Environmental Emergencies Centre (NEEC) in Montreal is providing support by examining the product properties, quantity and environmental factors for the purposes of determining potential impacts to fish. This information will assist with identifying sampling requirements.

Hazmat crews along with RAM Environmental — a contracted emergency spill response company — were at the site of the spill yesterday and again today (Nov.17) to help with the cleanup.

Three vacuum trucks and one hydro-vacuum truck are also on the way to assist.

 An environmental emergency response officer from the environment ministry is on scene to monitor the incident and cleanup.

The concentration of sodium hydroxide that leaked into the river has not been confirmed yet.

The B-train style truck was carrying two bladders of the chemical when it collided with a concrete centre median.

A northbound lane closure remained in effect Monday and Tuesday as hazmat crews tended to the spill.