INFORMATION REGARDING KINDER MORGAN CANADA BURNABY TERMINAL INCIDENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
As many of you are now aware, an oil spill occurred on Wednesday, May 6 at approximately 10 PM PDT at the Kinder Morgan Canada Burnaby Terminal on Burnaby Mountain. I am writing to bring you up to date on the information I have received thus far from the various parties involved in responding to this incident.
Kinder Morgan contacted my office by telephone and email in the early hours of May 7. Upon learning of the incident, I immediately had my staff contact Kinder Morgan to ensure that all precautions had been taken to protect the health and safety of the public and the environment and to determine the status of the clean up and causes of the spill. At that point in time, Kinder Morgan reported that approximately 200,000 litres of crude oil had been released from a tank inside the Burnaby Terminal and had been contained inside the lined tank bay. They stated that there had been no spillage or leakage into the surrounding environment. The most problematic issue resulting from the spill according to Kinder Morgan appeared to be the odour in the surrounding area. They further stated that continuous air monitoring was being done as well as the regular monitoring by Metro Vancouver. Local emergency first responders had been contacted and had returned to spray foam on the crude oil to mitigate the odours. Kinder Morgan also noted that they had notified all regulatory agencies as well.
By the end of the day, Kinder Morgan reported to my office that their preliminary investigations had revealed that the independent contractor working on site had experienced an equipment malfunction resulting in the release of the crude oil into the tank bay. Kinder Morgan further reported that at no time was there a tank leak and indicated that the tank was not damaged by the incident. They noted that early estimates showed that 200 cubic metres of crude oil were released and that the release was fully contained on site in a containment dyke. Kinder Morgan completed a controlled draw down of the remaining oil in the tank to prevent any further oil being released. They also reported that the clean up had begun and that they would be pumping the oil back into the tank, a process which was likely to take until Friday to complete.
Aside from Kinder Morgan, my office also contacted Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Health Authority and the City of Burnaby. Metro Vancouver officials attended on site with their lead air sampling staff. They took several air samples for analysis, including samples from Squint Lake Park, Arden, and Montecito Elementary and off site. Metro Vancouver reported that the analysis of the samples would likely be completed by Friday and would be forwarded to the Fraser Health Authority and the City of Burnaby. An initial review of the air monitoring appears to indicate that numbers did not exceed limits that would present any human health concerns. The City of Burnaby Engineering Department also attended on site and was able to confirm with my office that the spill was under control and that they had no immediate concerns.
My staff spoke with a member of the Fraser Health Authority (FHA), who handles any health related concerns or complaints related to this incident. The FHA reported that they would be working with the provincial Ministry of the Environment and Metro Vancouver to monitor any potential health risks. At this point in time, they indicated that there did not appear to be any health concerns and the odours in the surrounding area from the release appeared to be the only issue raised to date. However, should any resident have health concerns relating to this incident or the odours, they should contact the FHA Environmental Health Officer, Stephanie Szeto, at 604-918-7683.
As I am in Ottawa for the current session of the House of Commons, I was able to directly contact the Ministers responsible for the federal agencies with jurisdiction for the Kinder Morgan Burnaby Terminal - the National Energy Board (NEB) and the Transportation Safety Board (TSB). I indicated to the Ministers that I am particularly concerned about this incident and would like to follow up on it carefully given the pipeline accident in North Burnaby in July 2007, also involving Kinder Morgan. I have asked that both Ministers keep me posted of any involvement by their departments and any concerns that are raised in regards to this incident. The Minister of Natural Resources, Lisa Raitt, PC, MP, who is responsible for the NEB, responded that her department is aware of the situation and is working with the site managers and the NEB to assess the situation. They will be continuing to monitor the area until they are satisfied that is has been resolved and to ensure that any affects from this accident are dealt with. The Office of the President of the Privy Council, Josée Verner, PC, MP, who is responsible for the TSB, also responded to me and indicated that they will also be monitoring the situation and will keep me informed.
Finally, my staff spoke with the Team leader of Operations at the NEB in Calgary on Friday and was informed that the NEB had been contacted late Wednesday night by Kinder Morgan regarding this incident. The NEB responded by sending an NEB representative to the site early Thursday morning. They have now subsequently send two further NEB staff to the site to work with Kinder Morgan, the provincial Ministry of the Environment, and the City of Burnaby to ensure that a clean up plan was put into place and an investigation into the cause of the spill initiated. The Transportation Safety Board has stepped down on this incident and the NEB now has full jurisdiction.
The NEB reported that Kinder Morgan does have a reasonable plan in place to begin the clean up which has been accepted by the NEB. They also confirmed that that the site had been contained and that the issues regarding odours had been addressed with Kinder Morgan continuing air monitoring outside the property. While there is still some clean up required, the NEB will remain on site until the task is completed. There will also be longer-term remediation required to examine what caused the tank failure and what issues may need to be addressed to prevent further incidents in the future. They will shortly determine whether or not an investigation is required. They have assured me that they will keep me apprised of the situation as it continues to unfold.
Please be assured that I will be following this situation closely and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the appropriate steps are taken to protect the public health and the safety of the environment. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns or questions on this matter.
Bill Siksay, MP