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Fuel Spill Update – May 17, 2019 Update from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – MAY 17, 2019 

Jet Fuel Spill update:

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks conducted sediment and surface water sampling in Shade’s Mill Reservoir to evaluate any residual impacts from the January 13, 2019 jet fuel spill.

Sediment sampling in the beach area of Shade’s Mill Reservoir occurred on April 15, 2019 and included the collection of sediments at varying water level marks. Surface water sampling was conducted on May 3, 2019, and included the collection of samples upstream of the reservoir, at both the north and south side of the reservoir, and downstream of the reservoir.

Sampling results show that the concentration of parameters related to the jet fuel spill were below the method detection limit for all sediment and surface water samples collected.

The consultant has completed a Shoreline Clean up Assessment Technique (SCAT) Survey along priority sections of Aberfoyle Creek, Mill Creek, and Shade’s Mill Reservoir, which is a systematic method that is utilized and recognized worldwide for assessing affected shorelines after an oil spill.

The results of the SCAT survey indicated that sheen was only noticed once the creek banks were disturbed downstream in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek to Wellington Road 35 creek crossing. There was no jet fuel related sheen observed downstream of Wellington Road 35 creek crossing and at Shade’s Mill Reservoir.

The consultant has submitted a treatment report based on the findings of their SCAT survey to the ministry for review. Pending ministry comments, the treatment plan is scheduled to start on June 3, 2019.

Any questions regarding this update are to be directed to:

Lynette Armour, Provincial Officer at 519.826.4759 or 1.800.265.8658

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – APRIL 25, 2019 

Jet Fuel Spill update: 

Surface water sampling results for the contaminants of concern related to the jet fuel spill continue to be stable and below protective surface water guidelines in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek.

Visual creek assessments continue to be completed by the consultant that includes observing and documenting the presence of sheen, jet fuel odour, and impacted wildlife.

Observations of free sheen related to the jet fuel release are limited to two small areas immediately to the south of the point of loss and is no longer observed at or beyond the Concession 2 road crossing.

To date, there has not been any jet fuel impacted wildlife.

Jet fuel odours are no longer being detected at the outlet of Shade’s Mill Reservoir and at the private dam in Cambridge.

The ministry has collected water and sediment samples in Shade’s Mill Reservoir and has started their fish study in Mill Creek.

Ecotoxicologist Assessment: 

On April 15, 2019 the consultant submitted an Ecotoxicological Assessment prepared by a qualified person outlining the potential impact to fisheries and fish health in Mill Creek and Shade’s Mill Reservoir as a result of the jet fuel release.

The report concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that the jet fuel release will have long-term and ongoing effects to Mill Creek or Shade’s Mill reservoir, and it is not expected that the release will pose an ongoing unacceptable risk to fish/ fishery activities downstream of the point of loss.

In addition, the report referenced that the components of Jet A-1 fuel are not expected to bioaccumulate in fish, therefore, the release is not expected to increase exposure to petroleum hydrocarbons for recreational anglers in the area of Mill Creek and Shade’s Mill Reservoir.

Shoreline Clean up Assessment Technique (SCAT):

The consultant has completed a Shoreline Clean up Assessment Technique (SCAT) Survey along priority sections of Aberfoyle Creek, Mill Creek, and Shade’s Mill Reservoir, which is a systematic method that is utilized and recognized worldwide for assessing affected shorelines after an oil spill.

The results of the SCAT survey indicated that sheen was only noticed once the creek banks were disturbed downstream in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek to Wellington Road 35 creek crossing. There was no jet fuel related sheen observed downstream of Wellington Road 35 creek crossing and at Shade’s Mill Reservoir.

The consultant is finalising their treatment report from their SCAT survey that will be submitted for ministry review.

Any questions regarding this update are to be directed to:

Lynette Armour, Provincial Officer at 519.826.4759 or 1.800.265.8658

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – APRIL 12, 2019 

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update: 

Surface water sampling results for the contaminants of concern related to the jet fuel spill continue to be stable and below protective surface water guidelines in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek south of the point of loss. 

Areas of sheen and a slight jet fuel odour are being observed at certain locations in Mill Creek upstream of Wellington Road 35 Creek crossing. 

Ongoing Activities 

The consultant continues to conduct visual creek assessments, which includes observing and documenting the presence of sheen and/or liquid phase hydrocarbons, jet fuel odour, and wildlife.

The consultant continues to conduct surface water monitoring and sampling at key locations upstream and downstream from the point of loss in the Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek.

Wildlife 

There continues to be no observed impacted fish or wildlife associated with the jet fuel spill to date. 

Recent observations include: 

Healthy amphibians and reptiles are being observed at the Concession 2 Creek crossing.

Migratory birds including Canada geese and mallard ducks are being observed at locations along Mill Creek.

Fish showing no signs of visible distress are being observed between Concession 2 and Wellington Road 35 Creek crossings.

A large number of active juvenile fish are being observed in Mill Creek in the area of the private dam (Grandy Lane in Cambridge).

Upcoming Activities 

As reported, surface water sampling results remain stable and below protective surface water guidelines downstream of the point of loss in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek, in an abundance of caution, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks will be conducting surface water and sediment sampling in areas in Shades Mill Reservoir and will be conducting a fish study within Mill Creek.

The consultant is in the process of finalizing the Shoreline Clean up Assessment Technique (SCAT) survey results and developing a treatment plan to be reviewed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

The consultant’s ecotoxicologist will be providing an assessment on fisheries and fish health in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek.

Any questions regarding this update are to be directed to:

Lynette Armour, Provincial Officer at 519.826.4759 or 1.800.265.8658

 UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – MARCH 29, 2019 

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update:

Currently, most of Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek are free of ice, but shorelines remain partially frozen. Visual observations and surface water sampling continues. Localized areas of sheen have been observed north of Wellington Road 35.

The surface water sampling results in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek continue to be non-detect and therefore, are not exceeding any referenced surface water guidelines downstream of the spill site at Highway 401 for jet fuel related parameters.

Slight, occasional jet fuel odours are being observed at the culvert north of Highway 401, at Concession 2 road crossing, and at the Private Dam at Grandy Lane.

There continues to be no impacted fish or wildlife observed. Migratory birds (Canada Geese and mallard ducks) are being observed at locations along Mill Creek. Fish observed in the area of Concession 2 to Wellington Road 35 show no signs of visible distress.

Next week the consultant will begin the Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique survey in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek. The survey is a systematic method for assessing affected shorelines after an oil spill, and is utilized/recognized worldwide.

The objective of the survey is to complete a full assessment of shoreline conditions to verify shoreline oiling, decide on appropriate response priorities and treatment technologies, evaluate cleanup effectiveness, and conduct final evaluations of shorelines to ensure they meet cleanup endpoints.

At the Highway 401 spill site, soil and water delineation continues. Jet fuel impacted soil continues to be removed and impacted water is being treated on-site. No impacted water is entering Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek.

Any questions regarding this update are to be directed to:

Lynette Armour, Provincial Officer at 519.826.4759 or 1.800.265.8658

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUELSPILL – FEBRUARY 28, 2019 The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update:

Hydrocarbon impacted water is present in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek between the spill site at Highway 401 and north of Concession 2.

Areas of sheen are being observed between Concession 2 and Wellington Road 35, and at the Concession 1 and Gore Road crossings.

Due to intermittent thaws and precipitation events, areas of hydrocarbon and sheen previously encapsulated by ice and snow are becoming visible and are being cleaned up.

Slight hydrocarbon odour is being observed at various locations between Concession 2 and the Shades Mill dam outlet.

The consultant continues to maintain booms to collect any hydrocarbon and sheen present at key locations up to the Grand River; conduct daily shoreline assessments of Aberfoyle Creek, Mill Creek, and Shades Mill; collect surface water samples upstream and downstream of the spill site at key locations up to the Grand River; and operates water treatment units to recover any sheen and impacted surface water at the spill site and at the Concession 2 road crossing.

No impacted fish or wildlife associated with the release were observed or reported during this time period. Any questions regarding this update are to be directed to: Lynette Armour, Provincial Officer at 519.826.4759 or 1.800.265.8658

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUELSPILL – FEBRUARY 21, 2019 The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update:

Based on assessments made to date, sheen and hydrocarbon impacted water is present in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek between the spill site at Highway 401 and north of Concession 2.

Localized areas of sheen are being observed between Concession 2 and Wellington Road 35, and at the Gore Road and Side Road 10 crossings.

The consultant is maintaining booms to collect any hydrocarbon and sheen at key locations up to the Grand River.

Vacuum truck recovery of hydrocarbons and impacted surface water continues 24 hours per day, seven days a week at Concession 2.

A water treatment unit was installed over the weekend of February 16th, 2019 at Concession 2 to treat hydrocarbon impacted surface water.

A request for an additional water treatment unit is under ministry review to treat hydrocarbon impacted water at the spill site adjacent to Highway 401.

The consultant’s surface water sampling results from February 14th and 17th, 2019 do not exceed any referenced guidelines downstream of the spill site at Highway 401 for jet fuel related parameters.

Surface water sampling continues for laboratory analysis of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX), petroleum hydrocarbons fractions 1 to 4 (PHC F1-F4) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

The referenced guidelines for the surface water sampling are as follows:

Provincial Water Quality Objectives (PWQOs) for BTEX and PAHS.

Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Surface Water Guidelines for protection of freshwater aquatic life for BTEX and PAHs.

Alberta Environmental Quality Guidelines for Alberta Surface Water for protection of freshwater aquatic life (Short Term Acute) for PHC F1 and F2.

Hydrocarbon odour continues to be noticed at the outlet of Shades Mill Dam, without the presence of observed free product or sheen.

It should be noted, that the odour threshold for jet fuel is very low and the ability to see sheen at this level is influenced by the turbulent water.

Furthermore, as water goes over Shades Mill Dam it is being aerated, which encourages the volatilization (release to air) of the hydrocarbon components.

Given that no free product or sheen has been observed, the consultant has hypothesized that either free product may be under the ice or it is dissolved throughout the water, but concentrations are low enough that they are not being picked up in the surface water sampling.

A deceased duck was observed on February 15, 2019 by a third party and reported to the ministry on February 20, 2019 at a location north of Concession 2. There was no indication at the time of the report that the duck had been impacted by the jet fuel spill, and the cause of death remains unknown as the carcass could not be located.

The Ministry of Transportation has approved the closure of the westbound access ramp to Highway 401, from the Hanlon Expressway, for Thursday February 21, 2019 from 10 pm to 5 am, for the continuation of the soil remediation occurring north of Highway 401. Any questions regarding this update are to be directed to: Lynette Armour, Provincial Officer at 519.826.4759 or 1.800.265.8658

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Point of Loss (area adjacent to 401 up to Aberfoyle Creek)

  • The      Ministry of Transportation has approved the closure of both eastbound and      westbound access ramps to Highway 401, from the Hanlon Expressway, for      Tuesday February 19th and Wednesday February 20th      from 10pm to 5am.  The closure to the westbound access ramp is to      allow flushing of a culvert and excavation of impacted soil on the north      side of the highway.
  • Delineation      of the impacted area south of Highway 401 continues and impacted soil      continues to be removed off-site for treatment.

Aberfoyle and Mill Creek

  • Recent rain and thaw events      have mobilized jet fuel previously encapsulated by ice and snow, resulting      in the identification of additional localized surface water impacts.
  • The consultant has established      and is implementing a Daily Creek Assessment Program involving 13      locations along Mill Creek where observations are made on a daily basis.
  • Main collection points for the      continued recovery of observed product and sheen in surface water have      been established where Mill Creek intersects with Concession Road 2,      Wellington Road 35, a private dam off Grady Lane as well as select private      properties along Mill Creek.
  • The consultant has submitted a proposal to the ministry to install a water treatment system at the Concession Road 2 recovery location to treat impacted water. If approved, this would potentially eliminate the need for a complete road closure to allow for a stationary vacuum truck.
    • The ministry’s technical support section is currently reviewing the proposal to ensure the proposed system would treat water to a level that is protective of the aquatic environment.
    • The consultant continues to collect surface water samples at multiple points along Aberfoyle and Mill Creek from the Point of Loss to just upstream of Main Street in Cambridge.
    • On February 9, 2019, the consultant submitted a Surface Water Assessment Report, detailing all surface water sample results collected to date by the consultant. This Report is currently under detailed technical review by the ministry.
      • A cursory review indicates that concentrations of contaminants related to the jet fuel spill continue to be found above applicable surface water guidelines near the Point of Loss.  While recent rain and flushing events have appeared to temporarily result in higher concentrations, there continues to be a significant downward trend in the concentrations since the initial spill event.
      • Furthermore, concentrations downstream of Concession Road 2 have not exceeded any measurable protective surface water guideline since January 25th, even after rain and flushing events.
      • Slight hydrocarbon odours continue to be observed at the Shade’s Mill Reservoir outlet; however no visual observation of sheen or free product has been made to date. 
      • The consultant has established a Private Well Monitoring Program and has sampled select wells that the ministry identified for further assessment based on factors such as well type, depth, proximity to distance of release and residential concern.  To date the consultant has sampled five private wells and no concerns have been identified.
      • Since January 19th, the consultant has deployed a team of aquatic and terrestrial biologists to the area on a daily  basis  (as weather permitted) to specifically assess the creek area for impacts to wildlife, including aquatic life and distressed/deceased fish.  To date, there have been no reports of any wildlife impacts.
      • The ministry continues to be involved to ensure any environmental impacts are properly addressed.

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUELSPILL – FEBRUARY 8, 2019

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update: Point of Loss (area adjacent to 401 up to Aberfoyle Creek)

Delineation of the impacted area adjacent to the 401 continues. A series of tanks are being used to store impacted water, pumped from the soil extraction trenches, which will be pumped out nightly when access to the area is permitted. Removal of impacted soil continues to be removed off-site for treatment. Aberfoyle and Mill Creek

The consultant is exploring options to install a water treatment system at Concession 2 in order to eliminate the complete closure of the road.

Containment booms continue to be monitored daily and are replaced as needed.

Free product continues to be collected at Concession 2 and removed as needed.

An under ice assessment is being completed in areas of the creek that remain frozen. A shoreline assessment of public and private properties is underway to identify areas of the creek where jet fuel has accumulated, and booms remain in place to collect any product that travels downstream.

The melting of the ice is assisting crews with visual observations. Once a full assessment of the shoreline is completed the consultant will be providing a detailed plan on how to address areas of impact and propose longer term monitoring.

Slight hydrocarbon odours continue to be observed at Shade’s Mill Reservoir outlet, however no visual observation of sheen or free product has been made to date.

To date no impacts on wildlife have been confirmed.

The Ministry continues to be involved to ensure any environmental impacts are properly addressed.

Surface water samples continue to be collected at multiple points along Aberfoyle and Mill Creek, and the consultant is currently preparing an assessment of all sample results collected to date for ministry review.

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – February 4, 2019

The ministry has received an update that the onramp to the eastbound 401 from the Hanlon Expressway will now be closed on an as needed basis from 10pm to 5am, Monday to Sunday to allow for the movement of equipment.

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – JANUARY 31, 2019

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update:

Temporary barriers will be installed on the shoulder of the eastbound 401 this evening to allow safe work to continue at the Point of Loss. In addition, the onramp to the eastbound 401 from the Hanlon Expressway will be closed from 10pm to 5am, Monday to Saturday, to allow for the movement of equipment.

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – JANUARY 29, 2019

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update:

The consultant has begun shoreline assessment of private property along Aberfoyle Creek. Further shoreline assessments on private property will continue as additional private land access agreements are secured.

All roadside work at the point of loss is on hold pending MTO approval and a protective barrier installed along the highway shoulder to ensure worker safety.

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – JANUARY 24, 2019

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update:

The majority of roadside work is suspended pending receipt of an MTO encroachment permit to allow a safe work zone for vehicles and equipment on the 401.

The consultant’s terrestrial ecologist staff was on-site today evaluating limits of provincially-significant wetland to assist in the planning of future excavation activities in the “point of loss” area.

Daily shoreline assessments of publically accessible surface water locations continue, including the replacement of booms and pads as required.

The consultant reports that fuel odours continue to be observed at the Shade’s Mill outlet; however no sheen or free product have been observed at this location. No fuel odours have reportedly been observed downstream of the outlet at this time.

As the focus continues to be on ensuring containment and delineation of the impacted area, specific clean-up timelines are still to be determined.

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – JANUARY 23, 2019

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update:

Vacuum trucks remain at key bridge access locations along Mill Creek (primarily at Concession 2) to skim visibly impacted surface water where possible. The consultant’s crews also continue to monitor containment, collect additional surface water samples (minimum of three (3) sampling events per week) and make observations for any new impacted areas or wildlife.

The Ministry is currently reviewing the draft remedial action plan to ensure it appropriately addresses environmental impacts.

Once finalized, the remedial action plan will likely be used as the basis for a provincial officer’s order to formalize clean-up expectations and timelines moving forward.

As of January 23, 2019, all roadside remedial work at the scene of the accident has been temporarily suspended due to highway safety concerns posed by current weather conditions. This work will resume once weather conditions permit.

At approximately 2:30 PM on January 23, 2019, the consultant notified the Ministry that fuel odours were observed at the Shade’s Mill reservoir outlet.

Odour is the primary indicator of jet fuel impact at this time. Visible sheen may not always be present due to the solubility of certain hydrocarbon fractions as well as emulsified fuel that may be deeper in the water column.

Although no sheen or free product was reported as visually observed, an additional boom has been deployed at the reservoir outlet to increase containment efficiency.

Based on this new information, Spills Action Centre, at the request of Guelph District Office, is in the process of providing updated notifications to downstream water users out of an abundance of caution.

UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS  –  FUEL SPILL – JANUARY 22, 2019

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update:

Roadside soil scraping was undertaken today; however an encroachment permit from MTO is required to complete additional activities near the scene of the accident. The consultant expects this permit shortly. Crews also continued to monitor containment, collect additional surface water samples, and make observations for any new impacted areas or wildlife.

To date, there have been no confirmed observations of sheen beyond Shade’s Mill reservoir.

Results from the consultant’s first round of surface water sampling are currently being reviewed by the Ministry.

Today, the consultant also submitted a draft remedial work plan outlining the proposed remedial approach for (1) point of loss area, (2) surface water bodies and (3) control measures. The draft plan also includes details of a wildlife assessment and post-remediation monitoring. The Ministry is currently reviewing this plan.

The Ministry has received some concerns predominantly from one private landowner within the known impacted area regarding clean-up and the Ministry has been in direct contact with this individual.  

The consultant is also aware of these concerns; however the priority focus continues to be clean-up at the initial spill site (“point of loss”) and ensuring that contamination does not migrate any further downstream. Once this priority is addressed, further assessment of impacted areas upstream will be undertaken by the consultant as part of the remedial action plan. This may also include the development of landowner access agreement(s) as needed.

Messaging provided yesterday regarding wildlife and private well concerns is still accurate at this time.

 UPDATE FROM THE MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT, CONSERVATION AND PARKS – FUEL SPILL – JANUARY 22, 2019

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has directly provided the following update:

 Remedial work continued throughout the weekend. While some activities were limited due to extreme cold and snowfall (eg. equipment freezing, heavy equipment relocation for 401 plowing), crews were on-site monitoring containment, collecting additional surface water samples, and making observations for any new impacted areas or wildlife.

To date, there have been no confirmed observations of sheen beyond Shade’s Mill reservoir nor impacted wildlife.

On January 21st, the Ministry received the first round of surface water sampling results from the responsible party’s consultant. Results are currently being reviewed and another round of surface water sampling results is expected from the consultant shortly. The consultant will also be submitting two remedial work plans related to ongoing work at the scene of the accident and creek containment and rehabilitation for Ministry review.

Results from the Ministry’s sampling program are expected by the end of the week.

To date, the Ministry continues to have no evidence of impacts to private wells and based on a preliminary review, no impacts to wells near the spill site are expected.

The consultant is responding to private well concerns on a case-by-case basis. Ministry staff are screening incoming calls and forwarding concerns as appropriate to the consultant based on factors such as proximity to spill site, type of well (i.e. dug, shallow, untreated), etc.

Private well concerns should continue to be directed to the Guelph District Office at 519-826-4256.

The ministry continues to follow-up on ongoing remedial work. It is important to note that significant portions of the impacted surface water, including Shade’s Mill

reservoir, are frozen, making it difficult to visually track the extent of contamination, as well as recover spilled materials. Below freezing temperatures are expected to continue into the short term.

For status on the cleanup, residents can call the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Guelph District Office, Duty Officer at 519.826.4256.

 FUEL SPILL UPDATE

On Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 1:40 am Puslinch Fire was dispatched to the 401 east bound lanes at highway 6 north for a motor vehicle accident involving a fuel tanker and a second vehicle. The tanker carrying jet fuel rolled on its side and a spill occurred. The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks was notified, are the lead agency, and were on site as the cleanup began.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health was notified and have spoken with the Ministry. There are no concerns about fuel leaking into private or municipal wells. Residents can call Public Health at: 519.822.2715 x 4753 for more information.

For status on the cleanup, residents can all the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Guelph District Office, Duty Officer at: 519.826.4256

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