Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline shut after British Columbia oil spill

James Marshall
June 15, 2020

Trans Mountain estimates as much as 1,195 barrels of light crude spilled from its pipeline pumping station in Abbotsford, B.C.

Trans Mountain has begun an investigation into what caused the spill, drawing an initial conclusion that it was related to a 1-inch fitting on a small diameter piece of pipe that is connected to the mainline.

The Trans Mountain pipeline in British Columbia shut down after an oil spill will resume operation Sunday afternoon.

It comes at a sensitive time for Trans Mountain, as work on a planned expansion is under way amid fierce opposition from some residents of British Columbia, including indigenous communities, who say the pipeline is a threat to the environment.

In a news release, the UBCIC quoted Sumas First Nation Chief Dalton Silver, whose nation's traditional territory includes the pump station location. "We need to have our monitors on the ground immediately".

The Sumas Pump Station connects the Trans Mountain Pipeline to Washington State via the Trans Mountain Puget Sound Pipeline System, according to the Trans Mountain website.

A spokesman for Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O'Regan said the department is "monitoring the situation closely".

On Sunday, the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs condemned the planned expansion of the Crown-owned pipeline, which moves roughly 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta to a terminal in Burnaby, B.C.

The pipeline was shut early Saturday when an alarm was received about the spill at the station in the Fraser Valley, not far from the US border.

The Canadian government bought the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada in 2018, as it faced regulatory and legal hurdles to expansion.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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