Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Service

Environmental Emergency Reporting



Environmental emergency reporting is an integral part of BC Ministry of Environments' Environmental Emergency Management Program. Of the over 4,000 environmental emergencies reported annually, the most common are spills of oil and hazardous materials (about 95% of all events). Reportable types of substances and amounts are listed in a schedule to the Spill Reporting Regulation of the BC Environmental Management Act. A person in possession, charge or control of a substance is required by law to report the spill (or pending spill).

Contact Numbers

Environmental Emergency Reporting in B.C.

To report an environmental emergency within the province of BC, please call the 24 hour toll-free number 1-800-663-3456. This number puts the caller in contact with the Emergency Coordination Centre, which is run by the Provincial Emergency Program (PEP). The dispatcher will notify the appropriate Environmental Emergency Response Officer within a regional office of the BC Ministry of Environment. If more information is required about environmental incident notification, please contact a Response Officer in the closest regional office to you.

Spills Aren't Slick - Marine Spill Reporting

There is a special marine spill reporting number established for the Pacific West Coast, with the exception of the State of Alaska. The toll-free reporting number is 1-800-OILS-911, which is often displayed at marinas, government wharfs, and other coastal facilities from British Columbia to California. In BC, the caller is automatically routed to PEP’s Emergency Coordination Centre.

The intended users of this toll-free reporting number are fishermen, recreational boaters, and other mariners who travel along the west coast of North America. Calls are automatically routed to the appropriate state or provincial emergency dispatch service, depending on the location of the caller. The call can be made via radio-telephone, cellular phone, pay-phone, or regular phone. The advantage of a single, easy-to-remember reporting number is that transient mariners need not list or know each emergency phone number of the state or province.

Other Information

When reporting a spill, the caller should be prepared to provide the dispatcher the following information, if possible:

  • your name and contact phone number;
  • name and telephone number of the person who caused the spill;
  • location and time of the spill;
  • type and quantity of the substance spilled;
  • cause and effect of the spill;
  • details of action taken or proposed;
  • description of the spill location and surrounding area;
  • names of agencies on scene; and
  • names of other persons or agencies advised concerning the spill.