Cleanup of pipeline spill continues: Imperial now estimates 50 barrels spilled

The leak in Imperial Oil’s pipeline near Indian Road was bigger than first thought.

Oil was discovered in the grass on Imperial Oil’s property near the Marcus Terminal on Indian Road June 11.

The company has been working on the cleanup since then and has removed oil soaked dirt around the four-inch pipeline which had a small hole in it. Imperial spokesperson Jon Harding says the company has been able to determine that about 50 barrels of crude oil leaked from the pipeline. Earliest estimates put it at five barrels.

“Approximately eight litres of that went to the county ditch, which we’ve recovered,” says Harding.

Ministry of the Environment spokesperson Kate Jordon still isn’t sure where some of the oil went. “Some of the spilled oil breached containment booms and entered the Cole Drain, which flows into the St. Clair River but we were unable to confirm if the sheen reached the river,” says Jordan.

Harding says the pipeline, which is not in use, will remain exposed for a while. “Now, we need to remediate; we need to understand what we need to do to remediate,” he says.

The MOE is overseeing that plan, Jordan says. “The company continues to monitor the ditches.  Containment booms remain in place.  We’ve confirmed that flushing of the pipeline to remove any remaining crude oil has been completed.  The company is also developing a plan to assess the integrity of the pipe,” says Jordan. “The ministry expects a remediation plan to be submitted to us shorty to detail further site work, including soil sampling.

“The pipe will remain out of service until all assessment work and any repairs, if needed, are completed,” Jordan added.

Harding says the company is not sure how long all that might take and that even though the pipeline is out of service it is not affecting company operations.

– Heather Wright