Workers clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford near Trans Mountain’s Sumas Pump Station on Saturday. (Shane MacKichan photo)

B.C. Indigenous leaders speak out after 150,000 litres of oil spill in Abbotsford

Trans Mountain pipeline remains shut following spill at Sumas Pump Station on Friday night,

An oil spill that occurred at Trans Mountain’s Sumas Pump Station in Abbotsford has caused Indigenous leaders all across British Columbia to speak out.

The spill, which was approximately 150,000 litres of mixed sweet crude oil, occurred late on Friday night approximately eight kilometres east of Abbotsford. The Trans Mountain main line was shut down and isolated to prevent any further release.

RELATED: Trans Mountain pipeline shuts as crews clean spill in Abbotsford

Abbotsford Fire Department, Trans Mountain, the National Energy Board, Transport Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy all responded to the incident. It has not been revealed how much was spilled.

A press release from the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs stated that a field nearby the station was impacted, and cows that normally graze in the field has to be moved.

“Our main concern is for the clean-up of this spill and preventing further impacts to our territory,” stated Chief Dalton Silver of the Sumas First Nation. “We need to have our monitors on the ground immediately. We need to understand what is going on from our point of view, how much oil spilled, what has been impacted, and what needs to be done to clean it up. We cannot continue to have our land desecrated by oil spills. This is the fourth time in 15 years that this pipeline has had a spill on our land.”

Silver noted that the proposed pipeline expansion plans would run adjacent to the Lightning Rock site – a cultural site and burial grounds significant to the Sema:th First Nation and Stό:lō Coast Salish Peoples.

RELATED: VIDEO: Protection for Abbotsford burial site urged by First Nations, developer

“The broken and aging Trans Mountain pipeline is a potent symbol of economic uncertainty at a time when Canadians are desperate for recovery from COVID-19. Justin Trudeau, you bought a lemon,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC. “This is a pivotal moment demanding strong leadership that understands the need for a drastic shift to clean energy development. It is an absolute waste of taxpayer money to keep investing in old technology for a fossil fuel product that is toxic to our environment.”

“We conducted our own assessment of Trans Mountain using leading science and Tsleil-Waututh’s Indigenous law that concluded that oil spills are inevitable, can’t be fully cleaned up, and have devastating effects,” stated Chief Leah George-Wilson, Chief of Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “This most recent spill is another reminder that the risk is too great to accept. The Trans Mountain pipeline has already spilled more than 80 times since it began operating. This is why we continue to fight the Trans Mountain Expansion in the courts.”

Trans Mountain stated that the spill had been fully contained by Saturday and there was no risk to the public.

abbotsfordoil & gas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Barkerville writes a new page in its own history book

Kate Cox is the new CEO of Barkerville Historic Town and Park and Cottonwood House Historic Site

HAPHAZARD HISTORY: Ox team freighters play important role in Cariboo Gold Rush

The Cariboo Wagon Road was to provide a direct and dependable route

North Cariboo Seniors’ Council receives $10,000 from United Way

The funds will help the council provide meals to vulnerable seniors impacted by COVID-19

Regional district issues evacuation order for 9 residences near McBride

The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George issued the order on Sunday, July 4

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read