Cleanup expected to take one day after Sarnia pipeline leak

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– photos by Zak Nichols

The clean up of an oil from a pipeline on Indian Road in Sarnia is expected to take about a day.

Around 8:20 Tuesday morning, a driver on the road reported a strong odour. Oil was found in the grassy area on the Lambton Area Water Supply System property according to Ken Hall of Enbridge Pipelines – one of three companies which have pipelines in the area.

Hall says the Chemical Valley Emergency Control Organization (CVECO) was called and Enbridge, Plains Midstream and Imperial Oil all shutdown their pipelines in the area as workers converged on the area to see what had happened.

“We determined wasn’t (a leak from) Enbridge…we take a sample and find the density of oil and then compare with what is in our pipeline. What was spilled was heavier than the product we were transporting in our line.” Hall says two of Enbridge’s pipelines are already back in service. The third should be in service in the morning.

Officials, including the Ministry of the Environment, have not said whose pipeline caused the leak. Hall says there is “strong evidence by the actions of Imperial to take the lead and start remediation” that the spill may have come form “a piece of pipe that runs from theri facitily to the Marcus (trucking) facility.”

Hall believes about five barrels of oil spilled and the cleanup should not take too long. Once the leak is found, Hall expects backhoes will dig up the topsoil, then there will be some hand digging and then the rest of the soil will moved with a hydrovac which simply washes away the soil. “If they work through the night there is no reason the remediation wouldn’t be finished in 24 or 36 hours.”

Hall adds there is no evidence local wildlife has been harmed in the spill.
– Heather Wright