Federal officials are reviewing a plan to raise a dry-dock platform that sank last weekend in Halifax harbour.
The Irving-owned Halifax Shipyard presented its plan to Environment Canada on Tuesday.
"It's not an easy undertaking, but they are taking all the measures they can to make sure it's safe," said Roger Percy, regional manager of environmental emergencies for Environment Canada.
The 152-metre-long dry dock sank Saturday as it was being submerged to allow a tugboat to enter. The Scotia Dock II is lying on the bottom of the harbour in about 15 metres of water.
Environment Canada said according to Irving, 20 litres of fuel leaked into the harbour.
"They don't know for sure because the diesel tank was filled a month or so ago and they've been using the tank on an infrequent basis," Percy said.
Oil pumped out
Percy said the company responded appropriately by pumping out hydraulic oil and capping vents to contain the diesel. There should be no further pollution, he added.
Irving wants to raise the dry dock as soon as possible.
"They're going to be booming the site. Obviously, they will be pumping it out in stages and making sure it stabilizes as it comes up," said Percy.
Environment Canada, Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard will have to approve Irving's plan before it can get the massive structure back to the surface.
Roger Percy, of Environment Canada, initially said that Irving estimated that 80 litres of fuel leaked out. The department now says Irving's estimate is 20 litres.May 14, 2010 12:20 PM AT