Source of fuel leak remains a mystery

Two years and $200,000 later, the Yukon government is closing the book on its search for a fuel leak, which contaminated soil in parts of downtown…

Two years and $200,000 later, the Yukon government is closing the book on its search for a fuel leak, which contaminated soil in parts of downtown Whitehorse.

Although the source of the leak remains a mystery, the level of pollutants has diminished to zero, so the government will stop collecting and treating fluids from the leak, said Brian Levia, manager of monitoring and inspections at Environment Yukon.

Tests for hydrocarbons and heavy metals in the water collected in the sump beneath the Optometrists Building, on the corner of Lambert and Second Avenue, came up clean, he added.

The leak was first discovered in late March 2005, after an oil sheen was reported on the Yukon River, directly east of Lambert Street.

Officials traced the fuel to the sump beneath the Optometrists Building where it was collected through a weeping-tile system.

Environment Yukon spent months probing and digging around the sump, combing through two years of fuel records and following up on public tips without striking the source.

In December 2005, staff noticed the amount of fuel in the sump was not increasing and the level of hydrocarbons was well below regulated maximums.

So they gave the order to stop treating the sump water in July, and the equipment was removed from the basement of the Optometrist Building in October.

The treatment system recovered a total 4,000 litres of fuel.

Environment Yukon staff will continue to investigate the mystery if any new information comes available.

Under territorial law the polluter pays for the clean up, but since no source has been found the territory has footed the bill.

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

Just Posted

From Whitehorse to the Whitecaps

Joe Hanson is starting his second season with the Vancouver Whitecaps academy

Mount Lorne Mis-Adventure Trail Race doesn’t miss a step

Blue skies and sunshine for a chilly fall race

Canada Summer Games postponed

Yukon Canada Summer Games athletes will now work on mastering skills in preperation for 2022

Site selection for battery project draws ire of nearby landowners

Yukon Energy is accepting public comments on three possible sites for the project

Taking a closer look at the cosmos

Star gazing party scheduled for Sept. 18

Yukon government releases new guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms and sending children to school

The advice sorts symptoms into three categories: red, yellow and green

Nominations closed in Watson Lake byelection

Four candidates are running for mayor

Baggage screening changes begin

Passengers are asked to arrive earlier than normal in order to accommodate the new temporary system

Yukon Government extends education review

The final report is scheduled for release in March 2021

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Most Read