Oil spills into Placentia Bay from Come by Chance leak

North Atlantic Refining says Eastern Canada Response Corp. called in

Published on January 6, 2016

Oil has been spotted near Bordeaux, west of Arnold's Cove.

©Google Maps

North Atlantic Refining Limited has issued notice of an oil spill from the Come By Chance refinery, saying “oily product” has entered Placentia Bay.

There are no estimates yet available on the amount of product released into the environment.

North Atlantic Refining has stated the Eastern Canada Response Corp. was called in, but high winds have hampered response efforts. They remain on the scene and a clean-up strategy is being planned.

The product — exactly what remains unclear — was discovered to be leaking at the area of a refinery dock, from a broken section of pipeline.

North Atlantic Refining states the leak was discovered Monday evening, the leak was stopped and a containment boom was deployed.

While the ECRC was contacted Monday evening, according to the company, they responded at first light Tuesday morning. “Following an extensive, day-long search of Placentia Bay on Tuesday, ECRC discovered product on the shoreline near Bordeaux, southwest of the refinery,” the company stated, in a release issued shortly after 2:30 p.m.

“This is a very concerning incident for us,” said Dan Harris, refinery manager, in the statement.

“Protecting the environment is a critical part of our operation and a responsibility that we take very seriously. We are working closely with ECRC to manage this situation and return the impacted area to its original state. An investigation into this incident is progressing aggressively to help us determine the cause of the event and establish safeguards needed to prevent a reoccurrence.”

The company has promised further updates as the clean-up progresses.

On the regulatory side, Service NL offered further information on the spill response, stating the company reported the spill to Environment Canada and then federal authority notified the province about 10 p.m. Monday.

“Since that time, an environmental protection officer with Service NL has been in contact with the company, visited the site, engaged in a fly over of the area with other authorities, and is now monitoring clean up efforts by the company,” a spokesman stated late Wednesday afternoon.

“Service NL is aware that the North Atlantic Refining has engaged a company (Eastern Canada Response Corp) to engage in clean up activity, which is ongoing.”

(NOTE: Updated as of 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, to include response from Service NL.)