July 25, 2005

Cleanup continues following pipeline leak from Terasen facility

The National Energy Board (NEB) is leading a co-ordinated response by federal and provincial agencies to a July 15 crude oil pipeline leak from a Terasen Pipelines tank facility near Abbotsford, British Columbia.

In an update report, the NEB said it has been determined that crude oil leaked from the facility into the Marshall Creek/Kilgaard Creek systems. The pipeline was shut down on the afternoon of the 15th and will remain closed until repair work is completed. Along with Terasen Pipelines, spill responders include the Transportation Safety Board, Environment Canada, the BC Ministry of Environment, Fraser Health Authority, Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service, Burrard Clean and several environmental consultants.

Crews have put in place a number of measures, such as berms and weirs, to prevent the spill from moving outside the containment area. Although the amount of oil spilled has not yet been determined, its impact has extended over a stretch of creek approximately 300 metres downstream from the spill. Recovery of product continued last week, with the recovered oil, water and soil handled in accordance with federal and provincial regulations.

The company enacted its emergency response plan, which called for the notification and evacuation of nine households on the evening of the 15th. The residents were permitted to return to their homes on the 17th, when it was deemed safe for them to do so.

Monitoring of air, groundwater and surface water quality is continuing, and water sampling conducted to date has shown no evidence of hydrocarbons outside the spill containment area. Soil sampling within the spill area is also under way to assess the soil contaminant levels and determine the extent of the area affected.

Cleanup efforts are still in progress and are expected to continue for some time. Terasen is also developing a long-term cleanup plan, which will be submitted to federal authorities for review and approval. An investigation into the cause of the spill is being conducted under the guidance of the Transportation Safety Board.

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