KILLARNEY—The Canadian Coast Guard is continuing to monitor an incident that occurred last Monday, December 7 when a dump truck carrying limestone being transported by a tug and barge on the Killarney Channel fell off the barge and entered the water.
“Contractors and the Canadian Coast Guard deployed a floating barrier known as a boom to contain any product leaking from the truck,” Carol Launderville, a spokesperson for the Canadian Coast Guard on the Great Lakes, told The Expositor. “Special vacuums are being used to collect any product on the water. The shoreline in the area is being washed frequently.”
“On December 9, contracted divers undertook an assessment of the truck lying on the floor of the channel,” continued Ms. Launderville. “Divers were able to seal a leaking fuel line. Underwater video imagery will help recovery contractors formulate a plan to remove the truck in the safest and most environmentally responsible manner.”
Environmental response officers with the Canadian Coast Guard and contractors continue to monitor for pollution as well as patrol the site for any signs of diesel oil release, Ms. Launderville assured.
“Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard have received the draft salvage plan from the contracted salvage company, McKeil Marine,” added Ms. Launderville. “The draft plan is under review to ensure protection of the workers on site and the marine environment to mitigate any pollution during pressure changes as the ruck is being lifted.”
“The tug, barge and crane has been mobilized by the salvage company from Windsor and is proceeding to Killarney,” concluded Ms. Launderville. “The lift of the truck could take place as early as this Thursday (December 17), but that is an estimated date only, which must remain flexible to accommodate weather and other conditions.”
Killarney Clerk/Treasurer Candy Beauvais told The Expositor that the municipality has been pleased with the Canadian Coast Guard’s quick response and continued communication.
“Everything has been going very smoothly,” said Ms. Beauvais. “We are happy with the response from the Coast Guard and the company that has been doing the cleanup has been great. Everyone is right on top of the situation. The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) arranged for trucks of drinking water (from Sudbury) for our water users as soon as the incident occurred and our water plant was shut down.”
The Sudbury and District Health Unit issued a drinking water advisory for the Killarney Channel area on December 8 for those who take their water directly from the Killarney Channel or from wells supplied by the channel.
“We have been having teleconferences daily with both the Canadian Coast Guard and OCWA which has been great at keeping everyone in the loop,” added Ms. Beauvais. “Also, the public water users are conserving, which is greatly appreciated.”
Transport Canada is aware of the incident and gathering information which pertains to its role overseeing the regulations of the Canada Shipping Act.
“The safety and security of the transportation system are Transport Canada’s top priorities,” responded Catherine MacPherson of Transport Canada to The Expositor’s inquiries. “ Transport Canada takes all incidents involving dangerous goods seriously. Transport Canada is aware of the incident involving a barge owned by Coco Paving that occurred near Killarney. Transport Canada Marine Safety inspectors are currently gathering information regarding this incident in order to verify compliance with the applicable regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001. If any infractions under the Canada Shipping Act are identified, appropriate action will be taken.”
“The Transportation Safety Board is responsible for investigating accidents and/or incidents for cause and contributing factors,” continued Ms. MacPherson. “Transport Canada is responsible to ensure compliance with marine safety and security regulations. Should the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) decide to investigate this accident, Transport Canada will co-operate fully with the TSB in its investigation. At this time in would be inappropriate to speculate on the circumstances surrounding this incident.”