British Columbia

Oil spill contained in Fraser Valley

Odours from an oil spill at a tank farm in Abbotsford, B.C., have wafted through a residential neighbourhood much of the day.

Kinder Morgan, Inc. calls spill at Abbotsford tank farm 'insignificant'

Vacuum trucks are being used to recover the 110,000 litres of spilled crude oil in Abbotsford, B.C., Kinder Morgan said. (CBC)

An oil spill at Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Sumas Terminal site in Abbotsford, B.C., has spread 110,000 litre of light crude oil into a containment area, sending fumes into a residential area through much of Tuesday.

Residents in the area began complaining about the strong smell of oil early Tuesday morning.

Abbotsford police started getting calls around 4:30 a.m. PT, said Const. Ian MacDonald.

"The folks at Kinder Morgan are working pretty quickly to try and do what they can to dissipate and reduce that odour," MacDonald said.

Containment efforts are now underway, there is no threat to public health and air quality in the region is being monitored, Kinder Morgan said in a written statement.

The company does not say how much oil has spilled, or what kind it was,  but claims the spill was "not significant."  

Students at a nearby elementary school were kept indoors during the morning hours because of the strong odour.

'Stench' fills home

Local resident Serena Duckett said the stench of diesel filled her home all day.

Duckett said no one in the area has been told what happened.

"You would think with something like that they would have came and knocked on the door or had somebody come by and tell what's happened in the neighbourhood," Duckett said.

A local environmental watchdog says the Kinder Morgan spill is timely given the current debate around the Enbridge pipeline project through northern B.-C.

Ben West, of the Wilderness Committee, one of the groups opposed to the Northern Gateway pipeline, says the Kinder Morgan spill highlights the risks of pipelines to surrounding communities.

Kinder Morgan says vaccuum trucks are being used to recover the spilled material.

With files from the CBC's Emily Elias