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Canadian crews work to contain fuel spill in Vancouver bay

April 9, 2015

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A fuel spill has spread over areas of Vancouver’s picturesque English Bay, coating waters in an oily sheen, a Port Metro Vancouver spokesman said Thursday.

John Parker-Jervis said a bulk vessel that carries grain appears to have been the source of fuel that spilled into the bay Wednesday. The bay is surrounded by apartments, businesses and the city’s jewel, Stanley Park.

He said a significant amount of fuel spread around the boat and that it was contained with a boom.

The Vancouver Fire Department said one ton of fuel had been recovered so far.

Miriam Van Roosmalen, the Coast Guard’s B.C. regional director, said it quickly became apparent that the size of the spill was larger than initially reported, and a cleanup operation was launched immediately.

Parker-Jervis said the West Coast Marine Response Corp. had five boats recovering fuel oil throughout the night.

“Early in the evening the sheen was quite light and deemed not recoverable. However, as the evening progressed they did begin to find heavier concentrations,” he said.

The Vancouver Aquarium said in a news release that it had deployed its rapid response team to ensure the protection of any fish, seabirds and marine mammals that may be put at risk from the toxic spill.

The spill comes at a time when environmental groups are opposing British Columbia’s oil and liquid natural gas proposals to rapidly increase oil transport traffic.

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