The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, the Council of the Haida Nation and its business arm HaiCo have confirmed a diesel spill occurred sometime between midnight and 5 a.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, near Dinan Bay on Haida Gwaii. (Mapcarta screengrab)

UPDATE: Diesel spill reported near mouth of Dinan Bay on Haida Gwaii

Joint advisory from Council of the Haida Nation, HaiCo says full plume expected to last until Sunday

The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has confirmed there has been a diesel spill in Haida Gwaii waters.

A spokesperson for the ministry told the Observer the spill of approximately 4,500 litres occurred sometime between midnight and 5 a.m. on Wednesday near Dinan Bay, and was reported at 8:11 a.m. on April 22, the same day.

In an emailed statement, the spokesperson said Taan Forest was responsible for the spill.

“An automated fuel transfer system on an accommodation barge malfunctioned and overflowed,” the spokesperson said. “Marine spill response contractors are on-site cleaning up.”

They said ministry staff are monitoring the spill response in coordination with the Haida-owned forestry company and the Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) as well as federal authorities from the Canadian Coast Guard, Environment Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

ALSO READ: Police investigating diesel spill in Masset Harbour

A joint advisory from the CHN, its business arm HaiCo and its company Taan Forest released on the afternoon of April 23 provided more detail on the cause of the spill and clean-up.

“A valve feeding diesel to the electrical generator failed on the Toba Barge owned by Taan Forest,” the advisory said. “Consequently, an estimated 4,500 litres of diesel leaked onto the deck of the barge and into the ocean near the dry land sort.”

The advisory said the spill was near the mouth of the bay and that because diesel is “non-persistent,” it dissipates rapidly.

“The amount on the water was expected to have evaporated by as much as 75 per cent over the last 12 hours,” the advisory said. “It is estimated that half of the spill has dissipated and evaporated.”

ALSO READ: Court quashes United Steel appeal of Taan Forest decision

Booms and absorbent pads were deployed after the spill was discovered, the advisory continued, and additional booms, absorbent pads and personal protective equipment from the Coast Guard were being sent by floatplane.

Local monitoring of the spill is underway as are daily National Aerial Surveillance Program flights, and biologists are expected to conduct ongoing sampling of water, soil, and marine life to assess impacts as well as target clean-up efforts.

“Current modelling shows that the full plume is expected to last until approximately Sunday,” the advisory said.

“For the protection of public health, environment and any areas of cultural importance, we would greatly appreciate if people can avoid the area while the crews are working.”

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bish Creek fire removed from Province’s Wildfire Dashboard

Unclear when investigation into fire’s cause will be completed

District looking for public input on cycling plan

Survey is open to the public until May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Flooding unlikely this year throughout Skeena watershed

Region’s snowpack among lowest in the province

Cameras and convoys: Graduation in the age of COVID-19

Schools in Terrace and Kitimat are thinking outside the box to give students a graduation ceremony

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read