Diesel Leaked from Pipeline into River

Friday, September 13, 2013 @ 06:09 PM gHale


Low-sulphur diesel that leaked from a Sun-Canadian Pipeline in Sarnia, Ontario, Tuesday reached the St. Clair River, said Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Authority.

The organization conducted tests, said Bari Wrubel, supervisor of water and wastewater operations for Marysville and chairman of the Huron to Erie Drinking Water Monitoring System.

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Ontario Technical Standards and Safety Authority Spokesperson Wilson Lee said the location of the leak is in a public roadway, a half a mile south of Suncor’s refinery.

The leak buckled the roadway, and the diesel surfaced on the road and entered a sewer drain, Lee said.

The eight-inch low-sulphur diesel pipeline runs from Sarnia to Hamilton.

He said the diesel was leaking from a six-inch by four-inch opening in the bottom of the pipeline.

Officials closed water intakes in Wallaceburg following the spill. Walpole Island’s water intake also ended up closed last night at 10 p.m., said Walpole Island Chief Burton Kewayosh. He said the intake will remain closed pending testing in the St. Clair River.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said city emergency officials informed him late Tuesday night that the spill had reached the St. Clair River.

Initially, Sarnia police were reporting Tuesday afternoon the diesel had not entered the river.

Bradley said he met Wednesday morning at the Sarnia police station with the emergency primary control group, including the medical officer of health and a representative of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. “I need to hear from our people their report on what went into the river and how much,” he said.

He added a 911 call came in last night reporting a sheen on the river in the area of Stag Island.

“To ensure the most effective mitigation of a limited release of ultra low-sulphur diesel into the river, Sun-Canadian has initiated comprehensive water sampling to determine the extent of the release and to measure the effectiveness of the cleanup efforts,” the company said Wednesday.

It said the company shut down its pipeline after instrumentation detected the release Tuesday.

As a precaution, the company said it shut down another portion of Sun-Canadian’s line.

A sluice gate at Vidal Street closed and booms deployed in the St. Clair River. The company said they contained the release.

“The company’s first priority is to protect the environment and ensure the safety of the community,” the company said. “Sun-Canadian will continue to work closely with regulators and our community partners.



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