Gas spilled in Sydney fuel leak recovered, says Imperial Oil

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Cape Breton regional police directed traffic away from three blocks in Sydney's North End neighbourhood Friday due to a gas leak at the Imperial Esso fuel tank enclosure. (Thomas Ayers/CBC - image credit)
Cape Breton regional police directed traffic away from three blocks in Sydney's North End neighbourhood Friday due to a gas leak at the Imperial Esso fuel tank enclosure. (Thomas Ayers/CBC - image credit)

The remaining gasoline from a fuel spill in Sydney, N.S., has been pumped into a new container, an Imperial Oil spokesperson said Sunday.

On Friday, roughly 600,000 litres of gas leaked out of a storage tank at Imperial Oil. Nearly 60 homes were temporarily evacuated Friday because of the spill. No injuries were reported, and residents returned to their homes in the evening.

Imperial Oil spokesperson Keri Scobie said the recovery of the spilled fuel from within a containment area started Saturday night and was completed Sunday morning.

The spilled fuel was pumped into an existing empty tank on the compound, Scobie said.

Scobie was not certain how much of the 600,000 litres was recovered, as some may have been absorbed in the containment foam and some may have evaporated.

She said it was not possible that any gasoline got into the ground as there was gravel and clay in the containment area and that typically absorbs any substance that gets released on site.

Remedial work

Now that the remaining fuel has been recovered, Scobie said, remedial work has begun.

"We've just got some environmental folks coming in to look at … what sort of impacts are there from an environmental standpoint," she said.

That will take us probably over the next couple of days to figure out what that plan looks like for remediation."

She said Imperial Oil personnel will be working on site with Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change staff and regulators.

Part of the work of the team, Scobie said, will be determining what to do with the recovered fuel.

According to Scobie, on-site monitoring has been taking place since Friday and no community safety or health concerns have been detected.

Responding to reports of gas shortages in Sydney on Saturday, Scobie said the supply situation was more likely "related to driver issues" than it was to anything happening at the Imperial Oil terminal.

Scobie said the company sold all its stations in 2016 and now just supplies wholesale fuel.

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