Workers clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford near Trans Mountain’s Sumas Pump Station on Saturday. (Shane MacKichan photo)

Workers clean up the oil spill in Abbotsford near Trans Mountain’s Sumas Pump Station on Saturday. (Shane MacKichan photo)

B.C. Indigenous leaders speak out after 150,000 litres of oil spill in Abbotsford

Trans Mountain pipeline remains shut following spill at Sumas Pump Station on Friday night,

An oil spill that occurred at Trans Mountain’s Sumas Pump Station in Abbotsford has caused Indigenous leaders all across British Columbia to speak out.

The spill, which was approximately 150,000 litres of mixed sweet crude oil, occurred late on Friday night approximately eight kilometres east of Abbotsford. The Trans Mountain main line was shut down and isolated to prevent any further release.

RELATED: Trans Mountain pipeline shuts as crews clean spill in Abbotsford

Abbotsford Fire Department, Trans Mountain, the National Energy Board, Transport Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy all responded to the incident. It has not been revealed how much was spilled.

A press release from the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs stated that a field nearby the station was impacted, and cows that normally graze in the field has to be moved.

“Our main concern is for the clean-up of this spill and preventing further impacts to our territory,” stated Chief Dalton Silver of the Sumas First Nation. “We need to have our monitors on the ground immediately. We need to understand what is going on from our point of view, how much oil spilled, what has been impacted, and what needs to be done to clean it up. We cannot continue to have our land desecrated by oil spills. This is the fourth time in 15 years that this pipeline has had a spill on our land.”

Silver noted that the proposed pipeline expansion plans would run adjacent to the Lightning Rock site – a cultural site and burial grounds significant to the Sema:th First Nation and Stό:lō Coast Salish Peoples.

RELATED: VIDEO: Protection for Abbotsford burial site urged by First Nations, developer

“The broken and aging Trans Mountain pipeline is a potent symbol of economic uncertainty at a time when Canadians are desperate for recovery from COVID-19. Justin Trudeau, you bought a lemon,” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the UBCIC. “This is a pivotal moment demanding strong leadership that understands the need for a drastic shift to clean energy development. It is an absolute waste of taxpayer money to keep investing in old technology for a fossil fuel product that is toxic to our environment.”

“We conducted our own assessment of Trans Mountain using leading science and Tsleil-Waututh’s Indigenous law that concluded that oil spills are inevitable, can’t be fully cleaned up, and have devastating effects,” stated Chief Leah George-Wilson, Chief of Tsleil-Waututh Nation. “This most recent spill is another reminder that the risk is too great to accept. The Trans Mountain pipeline has already spilled more than 80 times since it began operating. This is why we continue to fight the Trans Mountain Expansion in the courts.”

Trans Mountain stated that the spill had been fully contained by Saturday and there was no risk to the public.

abbotsfordoil & gas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP Cpl. Cory Lepine pictured at BC Livestock Producers Co. in Kamloops, Nov. 16. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Meet B.C.’s only cowboy cop; a voice for the livestock industry

Cpl. Cory Lepine serves as a bridge between the law and those who make a living off the land

Kelowna RCMP on scene at Walmart on Banks Road, due to a suspicious package in the parking lot. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
UPDATE: Large police presence at Kelowna Walmart for suspicious package

RCMP responded to the scene with all available units

Gary Brown Sr. (Contributed - West Kelowna Warriors)
West Kelowna Warriors honour late super-fan

The Warriors renamed its Fan of the Year award after devoted fan Gary Brown Sr. died last week

Kelowna’s Post-Modern Connection performs for Riot on the Roof on the top of the Vernon Parkade Saturday, Aug. 22. The band is scheduled to play in the “Live @ The KCT” series in Kelowna on Dec. 4. (Vernon Public Art Gallery photo)
Kelowna concert series moves online due to new health orders

Rebellious Unicorns series ‘Live @ The KCT’ has moved to an online model until further notice

Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna city staff recommend allocation for nearly $8M provincial COVID-19 grant

Staff suggest the funds be used for lost revenues, support for the Kelowna International Airport

Numuch Keitlah, left, and Jake Thomas, centre, participate in a Coastal Nations search and rescue exercise off the coast of Vancouver Island in this undated handout photo. The recently operational Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary has more than 50 members from five Indigenous territories who are trained in marine search and rescue. They are on call day and night to respond to emergencies along some of B.C.’s most rugged and remote coastal areas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Jordan Wilson *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Canada’s first Indigenous-led coast guard auxiliary patrols B.C.’s rugged coast

Auxiliary is part of the feds’ $1.5 billion plan to improve marine safety and protect the environment

Multiple protesters cited unsubstantiated claims about the virus and the belief that their “rights are being violated” as reasons for their attendance. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘End the lock-down’ protesters hit the streets in Penticton

The group plans to gather every weekend until restrictions have been lifted, organizer says

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Revelstoke Mountain Resort was voted Best Ski Resort in Canada in the 2020 World Ski Awards. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke Mountain Resort voted best in Canada

The World Ski Awards announced the 2020 winners

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Baxter Bridge at the north end of Trinity Valley Road east of Enderby is open to all traffic Sunday, Nov. 22, but will close again Monday, Nov. 23, for more repair work. Monday is expected to be the last full-day closure of the bridge, which was shut down by the Ministry of Transportation to all but foot and light emergency vehicle traffic Nov. 8 due to structural issues. (Morning Star - file photo)
Okanagan bridge reopens to all traffic

It’s a 24-hour opening of Baxter Bridge near Enderby; final full-day closure set for Monday

Most Read