Recent Items – 2000
Aug. 2, 2000, By Daily News Staff, with Canadian Press files
CHETWYND, B.C. — Oil spilled from a burst pipeline into the Pine River may reach Chetwynd today, officials confirmed.
About 75 people are working to contain as much as possible from the spill of 6,200 barrels (one million litres) of crude oil that spilled when the Taylor-to-Kamloops pipeline ruptured at 1:30 a.m., about 65 kilometres southwest of Chetwynd.
The pipeline was shut off once the early morning break was detected. At a news conference in Chetwynd Tuesday night, officials from Pembina Pipeline Corporation confirmed they’d bought the Federated Western pipeline only 12 hours before the spill occurred.
The 21-kilometre-long slick was moving towards Chetwynd, downstream from the pipeline break which occurred just past Mt. LeMoray.
Residents were immediately told of the oil spill and booms were strung 40 kilometres upriver from the town to contain the oil.
A thin oil film made it past the first and second sets of containment booms and a third set was added further downstream.
The river, about 10 metres wide near the rupture, widens as it approaches Chetwynd and oil was moving into faster waters, said Rich Girard, the Environment Ministry’s regional pollution prevention manager.
“If it makes it by our containment boom system, it will take a couple of days before it gets to Chetwynd,” said Environment Ministry spokesman Alex Dabrowski.
“There was a sheen running in front of it that looked like diesel,” Chetwynd Mayor Charlie Lasser said after flying over the spill in a helicopter. “Farther there was black oil stretching as far as we could see.”
Chetwynd, which has a population of about 4,000 people including its outlying area, depends on the Pine River for its water.
Chetwynd’s water-supply intakes are about a kilometre upstream from town and water reserves will last four to six weeks with conservation, said Lasser.
But the town’s long-term water supply could be threatened, he said.