Kinder Morgan’s oil spill clean up unsettles advocacy group
“There were still some oil-coated rocks and piles of debris, but what they were actually doing was replacing some sections of the old pipe,” said Michael Hale, who toured the site of Kinder Morgan’s June 27 spill site near the Coquihalla Summit last Saturday.
Hale was surprised by how steep the pipeline’s descent was from the Coquihalla Summit, and worried that the age of the pipeline – sixty years – and the steepness of the descent might contribute to future spills, he said. The group saw some pipeline repairs, and a length of the pipeline that had been dug up near the larger spill site.
Kinder Morgan had done “much more than one might have expected” considering that it was a relatively small spill” – around 25 barrels, he added.
But Wendy Major, a retired Chilliwack schoolteacher, said that even a small spill was a major cause of concern for people who live near the Trans Mountain pipeline. By her estimation, there are 23 schools within a 200-metre range of the pipeline stretch from Hope to Burnaby.
“I’m concerned whether there are procedures in place to deal with toxic vapors that off-gas from spills,” Major said in a press release.
“How will the children be protected against toxic gases? There have been 80 leaks and spills over the lifetime of the pipeline. The number excavations and open repairs we saw worries me.”