UPDATE: Over 60 Nova Scotia Power and contractor personnel are working on cleanup efforts following an oil release Thursday at its Tufts Cove Generating Station.
The leak was discovered in an exterior pipe that runs from the onsite storage tanks into the facility by staff during a routine inspection. Plant staff immediately activated environmental response protocols by stopping oil flow through the pipe to prevent further leakage, deploying a boom in the area of the water nearest to the leak, and alerting the company’s environmental services contractors.
Work last night and this morning included the installation of two additional booms in Halifax Harbour in front of the plant as a precaution to contain the oil. Vacuum trucks and oil absorbent materials (pom poms) are being used to remove the oil from the water surface. Additionally, workers are actively assessing the water and shoreline in the area by helicopter and by boat to prioritize areas requiring cleanup.
The focus for today is to ensure that the oil is contained along the shoreline adjacent to the plant. Cleanup operations have already begun in known affected areas. The company has launched an internal investigation of the incident, which will include a comprehensive root cause analysis to ensure this type of incident does not occur again.
HALIFAX – Late Thursday afternoon, Nova Scotia Power’s Tufts Cove Generating Station had a limited oil leak from an exterior pipe at Tufts Cove that runs from onsite storage tanks along the harbour-side of the facility into the plant.
Plant staff immediately activated environmental response protocols by shutting off oil flow through the pipe to stop the leak, deploying a boom in the area of the water nearest to the leak, and alerting the company’s environmental services contractors who happened to be onsite at the time.
Contractors have since installed a second, larger boom to contain the oil sheen that has been observed in front of the plant and a vacuum truck has initiated cleanup of the oil in the water.
Nova Scotia Power and its contractor will continue to implement environmental response and monitoring protocols until all of the leaked oil has been cleaned up, including the water in the inlet, shoreline area and soil. A press release from NSP says response efforts are proceeding as quickly as possible keeping in mind the safety of all involved in the containment activities.
Nova Scotia Power says it takes its environmental commitments very seriously. Each plant has a detailed response plan in place to minimize the environmental impact of such situations and provide operational protocols to safely and quickly address the issue. All appropriate operational procedures and protocols have been activated, and relevant regulatory bodies have been notified of the incident.