Oil cleanup complete off coast of Prince Rupert

The Western Canada Marine Response Corporation has contained and cleaned the seepage and crews will continue to monitor the site.

The Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) has finished the clean-up of a small oil leek caught seeping out of an abandoned pipe on Prince Rupert’s harbor.

“The oil has been removed and the environment is back to pristine state,” Robert Stromdahl said, WCMRC north coast manager.

Cleaning commenced Monday after a rainbow sheen was observed in the harbour by Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) staff Sunday coming from a pipe located by the berths on the north shore.

“It appears old bunker fuel was residue in a pipe and with the higher temperatures we’ve had recently the viscosity was reduced and became liquified turning into a very small drip on the north shore,” said manager of communications at the PRPA, Michael Gurney, who added the era of the pipe is not directly known but is believed to have carried bunker fuel from a storage facility uphill.

Crews will continue to monitor the boom over the next few days but Strombahl says all the oil has been lifted from the area.

“We received approval to use a unified releasing agent -a product used to lift the oil off the rocks- and re-mobilize the oil. If there was a substantial amount we would use manual skimmers but this was a small concentrated area so we used a snare and observant boom and pads to collect the oil and cleaned it up that way.”

Since WCMRC crews were able to deal with the seepage before high tide the oil was contained to a small area, Stromdaul said.

“It was a successful cleanup, everyone acted proactively to get this done in a quick manor so no oil actually reached the marine environment.”