About 3,000 litres of water and leachate were reportedly spilled at the Woodfibre LNG site southwest of Squamish on Thursday, Sept. 8.
In a news release Friday the company said the spill happened during routine maintenance on the site’s industrial landfill, which contains wood waste from a former pulp mill. According to the release, a pipe connected to the landfill was being flushed with water when it broke, spilling the wash water and leachate. A sample from the spill has been collected for further analysis. The spill was also reported to the BC Ministry of Environment and Emergency Management BC for investigation.
The company said the spill was “primarily contained” in a containment sump and “quickly cleaned-up” using a commercial vacuum truck.
“Fortunately, the majority of what was spilled was water,” wrote Woodfibre’s senior corporate communications manager Jennifer Siddon in the release, “but the spill does underscore the challenges of managing a 100-year-old industrial site.”
Woodfibre LNG has proposed to build a liquefied natural gas processing and export facility on the site of the former British Columbia Sulphite Fibre Company pulp plant, which began operations in 1912. A subsidiary of Pacific Oil & Gas Limited, Woodfibre LNG officially took ownership of the site in February 2015.
“To ask the tough questions, if the company can't deal with the existing problems at the Woodfibre site, how are they going to deal with an LNG export facility based on two 40-year old tankers? That's not really a ‘whoops’ kind of problem. Neither is this,” read a Facebook post on the My Sea To Sky page following the spill. My Sea to Sky is a volunteer group formed in 2014 that grew out of Squamish residents’ concerns around the proposed Woodfibre LNG plant.