Kotaneelee spill stopped: Yukon government

A spill discovered Friday at the Kotaneelee gas plant, at the junction of the Yukon, B.C. and N.W.T. borders has been stopped, Yukon government officials said at a press briefing this afternoon.

A spill discovered Friday at the Kotaneelee gas plant, at the junction of the Yukon, B.C. and N.W.T. borders has been stopped, Yukon government officials said at a press briefing this afternoon.

They’re now working with the company, EFLO Energy Yukon, to ensure the site is remediated.

Aerial photos show a dark puddle stretching over about 29 metres by 14 metres at its largest point and two metres at its thinnest. The bulk of the spill seems to be coming from a white building nearby.

Officials estimated the puddle was about 20 to 30 cm deep.

A nearby watercourse running parallel to the facility was not impacted, officials said.

“Officials worked on the banks of the creek, and there is no apparent evidence (the spill) reached the water,” said Rob Thomson, director of compliance, monitoring and inspection, for the Yukon Department of Energy Mines and Resources.

An Environment Yukon official who happened to be on the site doing baseline sampling reported to Yukon Environment tip line the spill on Friday.

It remains unknown what actually spilled, how long it lasted, and what triggered it.

The substance is only described as an “unknown petroleum hydrocarbon.”

Samples have been sent for analysis to a lab to determine what exactly it is.

Government officials refused to say whether the company had already submitted a remediation plan or what the plan was, saying it was confidential under the Oil and Gas Act.

The Kotaneelee faciity hasn’t operated since 2012.

After this spill was found the Yukon government issued two orders, one requiring the company to written repair and remediation plan by August 14, and the other requiring to submit a final remediation report by September 18.

“The Environment Act is based on a polluter-payer principle so the company is responsible for the costs of remediation,” explained Thomson.

If the company were to fail to remediate the site, the government would step in and later recover the ensuing costs from the company, he added.

A EFLO employee was on the site that week, Yukon officials said, adding that the compliance, monitoring and inspection branch of EMR has asked for company inspection records.

Calls to EFLO Energy Yukon were not returned by press time.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at

pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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