HOPE, B.C. – Kinder Morgan has shut down its Trans Mountain pipeline in British Columbia for the second time in as many weeks, due to an oil leak.
The second incident occurred 40 kilometres east of Hope, and it comes the same day the company plans an open house in Metro Vancouver to discuss its proposal to expand the line that runs from Alberta to the port of Vancouver.
“We saw some oil staining in the soil,” said company spokesman Andy Galarnyk, describing how company crews discovered the leak.
Galarnyk said sensors had pinpointed some kind of trouble on the line.
“We were there to investigate this anomaly,” Galarnyk said.
“We initiated a precautionary shutdown of the line as that was required by regulation and we are continuing to investigate further.”
He could not say how much oil had leaked.
On June 12, Kinder Morgan was forced to shut down the pipeline when several barrels of oil seeped from a crack in the line near Merritt, about 120 kilometres north of Hope.
Kinder Morgan plans to expand the line to almost triple the capacity and include shipments of diluted bitumen, a heavier, molasses-like oil that critics claim is harder to clean up.
The Trans Mountain line currently moves 300,000 barrels per day of various petroleum products across southern B.C.
National Energy Board spokeswoman Rebecca Taylor confirmed Kinder Morgan contacted the regulatory agency on Wednesday to report the leak.
She said an NEB team was at the scene early Thursday and there were no immediate safety concerns for residents in the rugged, rural area, about 150 kilometres east of Vancouver.
“We obviously have an investigation ongoing into the discovery of oil from the 12th of June,” said Taylor.
“We will look to determine whether these are isolated incidents or whether they’re similar in nature and whether additional action is taken by the board.”
She said NEB and Kinder Morgan crews are working to remove any contaminated soil from the Hope area and remediate the land. (CHNL, CKNW)