In a release today, Woodfibre LNG (WLNG) say the investigation into the spill of wash water and leachate at the WLNG site, located seven kilometres southwest of Squamish that took place on September 8th, is now closed. The company says a leachate collection pipe, which connects the landfill to the onsite leachate treatment plant was responsible.

Keystone Environmental, an environmental consultant that investigated the spill for WLNG says in their report that there was no discharge observed entering either the Howe Sound, Mill Creek, Cedar Creek or their tributaries.

In a letter to the Ministry of Environment, Keystone Environmental stated the incident happened as follows: ‘A discharge occurred from the leachate collection pipe on the south side of the industrial landfill on September 8, 2016. During routine maintenance, the reducer disconnected from the pipe causing a gap through which leachate spilled. At the time of the incident, the manhole located up-gradient of the discharge had been pumped dry as part of the routine maintenance. The collection pipe was being flushed using clean water from the Site. Approximately 3,000 L of clean water and landfill leachate had spilled when the reducer disconnected. Prior to the work, an on-site excavator had excavated a shallow pit within a historic concrete containment sump. The discharge spilled into and remained primarily in the bermed area inside the sump. No discharge observed entering either Howe Sound, Mill Creek, Cedar Creek or their tributaries.’

Keystone Environmental say action taken during and after the spill included one of their representative’s alerting a clean out contractor to stop flushing the line once the discharge was noticed. A portable sump pump was used to transfer the leachate within the containment sump to the treatment plant. A vacuum truck was also used to remove soil that the leachate came into contact with, the soil was then put back into the landfill. The report states that the pipe in question was reinforced with concrete.

Keystone Environmental noted that when samples of the leachate were analyzed in a lab the results showed that the concentration of total aluminum, pH and Biological Oxygen Demand were higher than BC regulations allow, however ‘the spill did not enter the nearby waterbodies’. The report noted that ‘post-remediation confirmatory soil sample was not collected since most of the discharge was primarily contained within the concrete sump’.

You can view a copy of the report here: Keystone Environmental Sept 8th Spill Report.


Filed under: Howe Sound, Spill, Squamish, Woodfibre LNG