Concerns of Fraser and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities re toxic diluted bitumen spill:
City of Abbotsford communications with Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain 2015-19 PB Records Part 1 of 3 – Redacted
B.C. fears similar oil spill could happen
Pipeline critics say new lines or new expansions in B.C. will mean more spills are inevitable
“NEB recently raised serious concerns about the fitness and integrity of one of the proposals, the Cochin Pipeline. It also questioned the adequacy of crack detection methods employed by Kinder Morgan.” The Tyee Hook Mar 15, 2013
“Pipeline critics say new lines or new expansions in B.C. will mean more spills are inevitable” CBC report of Mar 31, 2013 Arkansas spill
Abbotsford Times News Story of the Year: Abbotsford’soil interests
However, local critics with the Fraser Valley-based PIPE-UP network argue the expansion will mean digging up land, damming rivers and disturbing major community infrastructure, as well as endangering B.C. waters through increased oil tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet.
Comment: Someone – Kinder Morgan – Michael Smyth – seems to think those of us who were at the “public information meetings” were “protesters”. We were primarily there to provide crucial and well researched information on the risks of toxic diluted bitumen and this particular pipeline. While one of Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain info boards attempts to give assurances re emergency responses to spills, the Nov 2012 NEB report noted that Kinder Morgan staff not acting on three alarms for six hours after the Jan 2012 Trans Mountain Sumas Mtn tank farm spill from which fumes sent residents to hospital and closed an elementary school’s air intake system. Kinder Morgan is not likely to advise the public at their “information meetings” that a study by the Alberta health agency found there are increased cases of cancer in those close to diluted bitumen processing. Some of us also know you can more from giving honey than vinegar. Kinder Morgan staff do not know what I am planning on doing with info that staff unwittingly divulged to me. So stay tuned…..
Speakers also took exception to the term “nuisance odours” that Kinder Morgan used to describe the environment on the day of the spill.
“If I’m sick and my wife is sick and other residents are sick, then there are health concerns,” said Martin Sunderland, an Auguston resident and inspector with Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service. “This is more than an inconvenience. An inconvenience in Auguston is when raccoons get in my garbage. This is more than that.”
“When I bought my house there, I didn’t feel I was signing up as an early detection system for Kinder Morgan,” said Sunderland. “I don’t feel I should be chased out of my house by Kinder Morgan.”
Letter of comment from Pipe Up Network Nov 7, 2012
Anatomy of a Tar Sands Pipeline Spill Details of the 2010 Kalamazoo tar sands spill
Letter requesting Inquiry Needed re Transportation of Dangerous Goods LacMeganticENRaitt5049581976886111770
Does not include the 2012 spill at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Sumas Mountain Tank Farm
Environment Canada 2011 Regulation Amendments
The Environmental Emergency Regulations came into force on November 18, 2003. That same year, based on consultations with non-profit stakeholders, Environment Canada committed to evaluate 49 additional substances for their potential to create environmental emergencies…..
The Amendments enhance the existing protection provided by the Regulations for specified substances that are flammable or hazardous. In addition, the Amendments clarify some existing provisions and provide exceptions from the requirements of the Regulations. These modifications include:
- Addition of 33 substances and classes of substances representing different forms of the core 33 substances (a total of 41 individual substances) to Schedule 1 of the Regulations
Benzidine is known to be a CEPA toxic substance and is not included on Schedule
1 of the E2 Regulations. Thus will not be controlled under these regulations, but will be
considered under Section 199. Benzidine is not known to be manufactured, and is not on
the DSL list. Benzidine is considered to be essentially non-existent in Canadian
commerce, and thus the risk of an accidental release of benzidine is considered
If the Keystone XL goes through and they transport about 700,000 barrels a day, TransCanada would have to pay about $56,000 into the fund every day. That would be about $20 million a year.
But here’s some breaking news. The Internal Revenue Service, the agency who has to collect these taxes, has ruled that TransCanada’s Keystone XL won’t have to pay the tax.
What? These high pressure tar sand pipelines are spilling all over the place and they don’t have to pay into the Oil Spill Trust Fund? Yes, you read it right. That is correct.
Why? The IRS has ruled the tar sand or diluted bitumen as it’s called after they dilute it with poisonous chemicals, is not oil!
The IRS says it is not even a petroleum product! If I was reading this like you are, I would say, “Greg, you have been sniffing too many pipeline fumes! You must have your information wrong!”
This tank farm is very close to aggregate blasting which was identified as a risk by the Transportation Safety Board investigation of the 2005 spill at Kilgard Creek
Blasting in the Immediate Vicinity of the Pipeline
The immediate vicinity of the occurrence site is a mixture of residential and industrial establishments. There are several large rock quarries on either side of the pipeline that have been active for several decades. A common feature of these quarry operations is the regularity of heavy industrial blasting. Shockwaves from blasting in the vicinity of the pipeline can result in direct and indirect effects that, under certain conditions, may lead to the development of buckles. The closest quarry where blasting occurs is at Sumas Shale Inc., which is located between 300 and 600 m from the occurrence site on top of a high rock hill. The closest blasting to the pipeline was 70 m from the pipeline, but several hundred metres upstream of the occurrence site.
Terasen has a standard for reviewing blasting adjacent to the ROW: Terasen Engineering Standards and Practices – MP 3120C. This standard specifies that the maximum horizontal peak particle velocity and maximum amplitude resulting from blasting should be less than 50 millimetres per second (mm/s), which is a more conservative standard than the 60 mm/s standard set by the British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. This standard was initially intended to address blasting works related to the construction of a facility, such as a roadway or buried service, across and/or in proximity to a pipeline and ROW.
Terasen’s blasting standard does not permit any blasting within the ROW and requires the company to review blasting plans for any blasting within 100 m of the ROW. It may also require a review for blasting within 300 m of the ROW. Although blasting at the local quarries occurred, on average, once every six days for the six months preceding the occurrence, the Terasen Crossings Specialist did not have any blasting records for the previous few years for the Sumas Mountain area.
A review of the quarry company’s blasting records from January 2005 until the occurrence shows that the amount of charge could reach 3.5 tons of charge for a single blast. The quarry company’s blasting records had no information on the peak particle velocities associated with blasting.
Terasen indicated that the blasting did not contribute to the failure in any meaningful manner. However, it could not determine whether regular blasting contributed to
- the landfill material settling deeper into the peat;
- the migration of the landfill material; or
- the migration of the underlying compressed peat material in the direction of the pipeline.
Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors
- As a result of a significant bending stress imposed on a pre-existing cold bend, a buckle and associated cracks formed in the cold bend and subsequently grew as a result of imposed cyclic stresses; consequently, the pipeline failed.
- Migration of the compressed peat layer and consolidation of the soft silt layer, created by the application of landfill, disturbed the state of equilibrium of the native peat, silt, and sand/gravel layers and produced the bending forces sufficient to displace the 508 mm diameter pipeline.
- The response to the leak was delayed because of a lack of an effective leak detection system and an effective response to odour complaints.
- Because the frequency of vegetation clearing had been reduced, the Terasen Pipelines (Trans Mountain) Inc. employee responding to the complaints was impeded by dense growth on the right-of-way.
- The delays in emergency response, as well as the time taken to identify the leak, increased the severity of the accident.
- A lack of communications between the landfill site owner, the City of Abbotsford, and Terasen exposed the pipeline to a threat from excessive landfill operations.
Finding as to Risk
Employees and other responders who are not wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment are exposed to health and safety risks when operating in the vicinity of a leak.
Environmental Setting and Impacts
Apprximately 50 homes, property, and a section of the Barnett Highway were impacted when the 24 inch pipeline was ruptured, resulting in a 30 meter geyser of oil spraying into the air and covering the surrounding area with oil over approximately a 25 minute period. Subsequently the oil seeped into the surrounding soil, storm drains, sewer lines and along other down gradient pathways. The oil moving through the storm drain system eventually reached the marine waters of Burrard Inlet below the spill site where it began to spread further with wind and tides.
11 homes were severely impacted with oiling and numerous residents have been displaced from the area. The Barnett highway was closed for several days due to the oil covering the area and the need for cleanup activities. The marine environment in Burrard Inlet and approximately 1200 meters of shoreline have also been affected. A number of birds have also been impacted after coming in contact with the oil.
Additional impacts are also likely due to the ongoing nature of the event at the current time. Ministry staff continue to assess and monitor the situation, provide technical expertise to the response efforts, and ensure appropriate cleanup is carried out.
• A pipeline spill northeast of Fort Nelson occurred in July 2007. Its cleanup was finished in late 2008, costing $35 million in total. Page 19
NOT Reported on Ministry of Environment Incident Overviews – 2007 web page