Minister meets with premier in Burnaby



Kristen Thompson/metro vancouver


Premier Gordon Campbell, left, tours the site of oil spill in Burnaby yesterday with federal Environment Minister John Baird.


Premier Gordon Campbell was joined by Canada’s Environment Minister John Baird in Burnaby yesterday to assess the aftermath of a massive oil spill from a pipeline ruptured by construction machinery.

There’s little debate over what caused the accident, but experts and investigators have not agreed on whom is to blame — the contractor, or pipeline owner Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.

Premier Gordon Campbell said it’s important to wait for investigations to conclude before passing blame.

“This was an accident,” he said. “Rather than jump to conclusions it’s a good idea to have the facts first.”

Around 235,000 litres of heavy-grade crude oil were lost when road crews clipped a high-pressure 24-inch pipeline under Inlet Drive in residential North Burnaby Tuesday.

A 12-metre-high geyser sprayed into the air for half an hour before it was shut off.

Containment booms were set up in Burrard Inlet to contain oil that leaked into the water.

It’s unclear what the environmental impact of the spill will be, but experts anticipate the clean up to be long and costly.

Just under 100 residents from 31 homes were displaced and are being put up in hotels.

it’s a dirty job

  • Cleanup crews worked late into the night laying down peat moss to absorb the sticky, tar-like oil and peel away damaged pavement.