VIDEO: Pipeline company practises spill response in Abbotsford

Dozens take part in 'deployment exercise' meant to mimic response to spill on Sumas Prairie.

A worker hauls in a skimmer meant to separate water from oil at the conclusion of an oil spill training exercise by Kinder Morgan Wednesday morning.

Dozens of Kinder Morgan Canada workers converged on the Sumas Canal Tuesday and Wednesday as the company practised its response to a spill from its Trans Mountain pipeline on Sumas Prairie.

Jamie Kereliuk, the company’s emergency management director, said the deployment exercise was one of 20 the company will conduct around B.C. this year. Later this fall, it will practise responding to a fire at its Sumas Mountain tank farm.

Kinder Morgan has applied to twin its pipeline, nearly tripling its capacity, and the federal government is expected to make a final decision on the project by December. The National Energy Board has recommended approval, subject to more than 150 conditions, including dozens related to safety.

Kereliuk said this week’s exercises are part of the company’s normal emergency preparedness activities and aren’t linked to the proposed expansion.

On Wedensday, workers dragged a boom across the Sumas Canal, just east of the Barrowtown Pump Station. The boom is intended to funnel contaminated water towards a machine called a “skimmer” that then pumps the fluid into a storage container on land.

In the event of a real spill, Kereliuk said additional crews would work on containing the fluid closer to the source.

The deployment exercise, he said, focuses on ensuring workers know their responsibilities and how to quickly respond in case of emergency. Such exercises are smaller in scale to full-bore exercises, which include multiple agencies. Although the City of Abbotsford had asked the NEB to require Kinder Morgan to conduct full-scale exercises at its Sumas Mountain tank farm, such a condition was not included in the recommendations passed earlier this year.

Kinder Morgan has previously been criticized both by residents and the city for the company’s response to spills on Sumas Mountain in 2012 and 2005. Mayor Henry Braun, though, this year hailed the company for improvements and for locating a rapid response unit in the city. Abbotsford Fire Rescue and Abbotsford Police each had members at this week’s exercises observing the process.

Just Posted

Police find loaded rifle in car of ‘prolific offender’ prohibited from driving

Tyler Houle of Abbotsford arrested Wednesday in Chilliwack

Man wants guilty plea revoked in 2012 collision in Abbotsford that killed Chilliwack woman

Michael Larocque was charged in relation to crash that killed Eileen Kleinfelder

Trial slated to start Monday for accused killer of Abbotsford cop

Oscar Arfmann faces first-degree murder for death of Const. John Davidson

George Ferguson Way apartment building goes to public hearing Monday

Bike lockers signal shift in Abbotsford developers’ thinking, Banman says

Agassiz study to look at drone use for pesticide application

The study will be the first in Canada to use drones to apply pesticides to farm fields

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Burnaby facility to dispose of 1,500 tonnes of Canada’s trash from Philippines

All 103 containers will be disposed of properly within Canada before the end of the summer

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

UPDATE: Vancouver man dies after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

Police believe speed was a factor in Thursday collision

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Body found after fire at Surrey homeless camp, police say

Surrey RCMP say the body was found inside a shed after firefighters extinguished the fire

Most Read