The cause of a large toxic oil spill in Vancouver’s English Bay is still under investigation, but a Coast Guard official says it’s no longer spreading.
“We are certain that the lion’s share of that black material will be collected and certainly has been contained.”
The Coast Guard’s Assistant Commissioner, Roger Girard says the owners of the grain ship –believed to be the source– have denied they’re responsible.
“I can’t definitively say that it came specifically from that vessel. What I do know is that when we boomed it, there was no more emergent oil. Do I believe that we are going to get more oil coming out of that particular site? No. We’ve got the containment done.”
Girard says a review is also being done to determine why city officials were not notified immediately
“Our protocol was the conversation with PortMetro and the Province and our understanding was that one of those agencies would do the fan out to the City. Certainly was not our intent to leave the City in the blind, so I’m happy to review that and we’ll have to look at exactly why that happened. It wasn’t an intentional slight, I assure you.”
Port Metro Vancouver reported spill to Coast Guard shortly after spill was spotted
Cliff Stewart with Port Metro Vancouver says they were notified shortly after the spill was first spotted at around 5pm last night.
“As per our usual practise and on behalf of the Coast Guard, our harbour patrol crew responded to investigate and confirm the situation. Our findings were reported to the Coast Guard who are now working with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation to manage the situation.”
City Manager Penny Ballem says her staff were alerted more than 12 hours later.
“This is obviously something that’s of real significant concern to the city and we’re working hard to do whatever is necessary to make sure that any clean-up happens in an expedited way.”
Transport Canada is also investigating.
Estimates are that up to a few thousand litres have been spilled into English Bay
Since the spill was first detected yesterday, about 1400 litres of fuel have been recovered, but the estimated size is more than twice that amount.
Mayor Gregor Robertson didn’t attend today’s news conference because he’s out of town, but his staff say cut his trip to Vancouver Island short and is now on his way back.Since the leak was spotted late yesterday afternoon, more than 14-hundred litres of fuel have been recovered, but the spill is believed to be twice that amount.