Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Seaway Closed as CSL ship Runs Aground

  more Oil, Oh Well , a Canada Steamship Lines ship ran aground forcing the authoities to close the Seaway temporarily until they clean up some oil spill, They should be able to milk this for a few bucks somehow,                    MONTREAL - An oil leak forced the closure of a section of the St. Lawrence Seaway on Monday night.

Crews were still working to clean up the mess Tuesday morning after a Canada Steamship Lines vessel ran aground near the Côte Sainte-Catherine lock, just south of Montreal, around 7:30 p.m. Monday.

The ship's fuel tank was reportedly punctured in the accident, allowing between 50 and 200 tonnes of oil to leak into the surrounding waters before the tank could be sealed. The spill covered an area about 500 metres by 500 metres.

"The leak has now been completely contained," said Andrew Bogora, communications officer for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation. "The Sainte-Catherine lock has also been sealed, so water is no longer running through the area, which ensures that the spill remains in place."

Officials with Environment Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard and Quebec civil authorities were on the scene Tuesday morning to monitor the ongoing cleanup effort. SIMEC, a private firm specializing in environmental remediation, was called in to mop up the spill, Bogora said.

Nearby communities were also advised to check their water filtration facilities for any signs of oil contamination.

"The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks will continue to follow this situation with its partners to assure that all necessary steps are taken to contain this spill," said a release issued by the provincial government Tuesday morning.

It is still unclear why the ship ran aground in the seaway, Bogora said.

"The ship did lose power and drifted out of the navigation channel," he said. "As to why it lost power, we still don't have that information."

The affected area of the seaway will remain closed to all water traffic until at least tomorrow, Bogora added, and the cleanup could continue for several days.

Canada Steamship Lines, at one time owned by former prime minister Paul Martin, is Canada's largest maritime shipping company. Martin passed the company to his sons in 2003.

More to come.                  ..( I wonder if they mean 'more to come' as in oil......lol)

1 comment:

Les F said...

Good News here, Seway Open Again Oil Spill cleaned up:mostly
Ste. Catherine - A closed section of the St. Lawrence Seaway was reopened to commercial traffic late Thursday afternoon, allowing boats to pass through the area for the first time in nearly three days.

The portion of seaway near the Ste. Catherine Lock was shut down late Monday night after a Canada Steamship Lines vessel ran aground, leaking around 20 tonnes of diesel fuel into the surrounding waters.

By Thursday morning, the backlog of ships in the seaway was reaching a critical mass, with 16 vessels stuck on either side of the closed lock.

"The damaged vessel will be ready to be moved in a few hours," predicted Guy Yelle, vice-president for the St. Lawrence Seaway Corp., Maisonneuve region, at a news conference Thursday morning. "There is a way to move it away from the wall so that it's possible to navigate around it."

The first vessel to pass through the newly-reopened portion of the seaway will likely be one docked in St. Lambert - the Camilia Desgagnés.

The closure of the seaway posed a big operational and financial headache, suggested Suzanne Laflèche, of Groupe Desgagnés Inc. in Quebec City.

"But unfortunately we (couldn't) do much about it," Laflèche said.

The Camilia will be followed by several ships coming from the other direction, said a spokesperson for the Seaway Corp.

Environment Canada officials were still on the scene on Thursday monitoring the ecological impact of the spill, but were calling the damage to the surrounding ecosystem, "minor."

"We now have 11 birds that were covered in oil that have been brought to the emergency veterinary clinic in St. Hyacinthe," said Environment Canada spokesperson Sonia Laforest. "We will remain here the rest of the day to keep an eye out for more."

Laforest said there have also been a handful of fish and two dead muskrats recovered from the stagnant water, but it's unclear if they were killed by the fuel spill or the recent hot weather.

She added that Environment Canada feels the reaction to the incident was measured and appropriate.

"It's good to have that reaction phase, so we get everyone concerned involved right away ... and then you can move into the cleanup phase," she explained. "So no, I don't think we over-reacted."

Officials said now that the seaway has been reopened, boats will be required to reduce their speeds significantly to avoid churning up the water and any fuel it may still contain. However, according to Laforest, most of the diesel has now washed up onto the rocky shoreline, where it is being mopped up by a private company brought in by Canada Steamship Lines