News & Insights

Investigation into spill of wash water & leachate at Woodfibre site closed


Oct 27, 2016

Spill was quickly contained and cleaned-up, no further action required

SQUAMISH, BC – The investigation into last month’s spill of wash water and leachate at the Woodfibre LNG site, which is located about seven kilometres southwest of downtown Squamish, is now closed.

The Ministry of Environment Environmental Protection Division cited Woodfibre LNG Limited’s quick response to the spill, and reporting procedures completed by the company following the incident, in its decision to close the file.

The spill happened on September 8, 2016 during routine maintenance on the site’s industrial landfill, which contains historical wood waste from former pulp mill operations.  A leachate collection pipe, which connects the landfill to the onsite leachate treatment plant, broke and spilled about 3,000 litres of wash water and leachate onto the ground.

The spill was primarily contained within a concrete sump and immediately cleaned-up using a commercial vacuum truck that was onsite as part of the scheduled maintenance work.   None of the spill entered Howe Sound, Mill Creek or Woodfibre Creek(Cedar Creek) or their tributaries.

Following the spill clean-up, the leachate collection pipe was repaired and the pipe connection was reinforced with concrete.  The impacted soils were then disposed in the landfill.

A sample of the spilled wash water and leachate was sent to an accredited lab for analysis of pH, conductivity, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and total metals. The results show that the concentration of total aluminum, pH and BOD exceeded BC Water Quality Guidelines and the permitted values under the applicable license.  However, the immediate remediation of the spill and the fact that the discharge did not enter a body of water meant that there was no effect to the aquatic environment.

To learn more about the spill and response, click here.

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