Sierra Club B.C. warns of pipeline risk after spill near Merritt

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      The Sierra Club B.C. says a recent oil spill is further evidence that Kinder Morgan’s plan to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline should be opposed.

      “The accident near Merritt shows that B.C. is not immune to potentially disastrous oil spills,” Sarah Cox, the environmental group’s interim executive director said in a release today (June 13).

      “It’s proof positive that we need to reject Kinder Morgan’s proposal to build a second pipeline in order to ship tar sands bitumen past Victoria and the Gulf Islands.”

      The Trans Mountain spill happened along a pipeline right-of-way on Crown land southwest of Merritt, B.C., according to a separate release today from the National Energy Board. The incident was reported yesterday.

      “The size of the spill has yet to be determined by the NEB. There is no immediate safety concern for local residents and precautions are being taken to ensure continued public safety,” the regulatory agency's release said.

      “The pipeline has been shut down to prevent additional oil from being released into the environment and the company is currently in the process of contacting area residents.”

      Kinder Morgan estimates around 12 barrels of crude oil spilled during the incident, according to news reports.




      Jun 13, 2013 at 10:58am

      Sigh. Isn't the Sierra Club jumping the gun a bit (a lot)?

      I'm opposed to many/all of the oil transport projects currently on the table for BC, but I don't set my hair on fire every time there is an "incident". I prefer to see a few facts before the hair-burning ritual.

      I already know what the oil companies and governments do wrong (downplay and mislead). But I also know what some environmental groups do wrong (overplay and mislead).

      Can't we be objective? We can't control what oil companies and governments do or don't do (unfortunately), but we can certainly tell the Sierra Club to behave more like responsible "stewards".


      Jun 13, 2013 at 12:02pm

      Yeah let's politely wait for our governments, the NEB and Kinder Morgan to tell us that this was an insignificant spill. D'uoh!


      Jun 13, 2013 at 1:10pm

      @ xtina:

      Perhaps we should wait until we have the slightest shred of evidence that the spill was or wasn't "significant"?

      You remind me of the internet slaves who gallop off in all directions on the basis of a rumour. Children die as a result of that attitude.

      It's particularly ironic when the same people who are slamming the government for ignoring science, promptly run off and ignore science.

      Think first. Shoot second.

      Justa Voter

      Jun 13, 2013 at 2:53pm

      What bothers me is that, according to an article in the Kamloops This Week paper, the spill "was discovered during regular maintenance yesterday afternoon (June 12) along Highway 3 near Kingsvale.
      'We run tools through the pipeline from time to time to determine that the interior of the pipeline is running safely, and that there's no defects in the line that could cause some problems for them," Galarnyk [spokesman for Kinder Morgan) said. Kinder Morgan staff were following up one of those tests when they discovered the oil, which he said shows the company's commitment to the integrity of the line."

      So, actually, they just happened to find it--no system in place to set off an alarm to notify the company of an oil leak--they just happened to find it. If they hadn't been doing one of their rigorous "from time to time" checks, how much bigger would the spill have gotten? How many other spills are going on right now in areas whose "from time to time" maintenance is yet to come?

      Far from demonstrating Kinder Morgan's concern for the integrity of the pipeline, it shows just how randomly they monitor it. No wonder there are so many oil spills from existing pipelines daily in this country!


      Jun 14, 2013 at 2:38pm

      And in today's news ... the spill has now been estimated at 2 barrels (not 12). See what happens when you over-react? You look like marginal morons.

      Is it good to spill 2 barrels of a toxic substance? Nope. Should we all light our hair on fire over a 2-barrel oil spill? Nope.

      In most suburban neighbourhoods, nice folk pour far more than 2 barrels of toxic waste into the storm sewer every month.

      The Sierra Club needs to look up the definition of "priority" and spend our donations accordingly.


      Jun 14, 2013 at 11:37pm

      City people with their mouths wide open protesting something they know very little about, in the balanced sense, that is. Big wup