MOE says some oil may have made it to St. Clair river
Ministry of the Environment officials say some of the oil which leaked from an underground pipeline may have made its way into the St. Clair River.
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. MOE officials confirm the pipeline which leaked was owned by Imperial Oil.
Booms were set up in the Cole Drain and MOE spokesperson Lindsay Davidson says in an email, most of the oil has been cleaned up from the surface although some escaped. “Some of the spilled oil breached containment booms and entered the Cole Drain, which flows into the St. Clair River,” she says. “Ministry staff are monitoring and inspecting downstream of the spill, and have taken samples upstream and downstream of Cole Drain and of the St. Clair River for analysis.”
The earliest reports of the spill said about five barrels of oil had spilled, about 1,200 liters, however Davidson says the ministry has yet to determine exactly how much oil has leaked.
“Ministry staff have been meeting with the company and other responders to discuss the clean-up and off-site mitigation plans,” says Davidson adding “The ministry is awaiting additional details of the spill. Once we have received all of the necessary information, we will determine if the matter should be referred to our investigation’s branch.”
The National Energy Board is also investigating the leak.
Indian Road had been closed as excavation of the line takes place.