Coal train spill into Silver Creek

See update at bottom.

A CN train derailed about 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 11, 2014.  See the video from helicopter: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/no-one-injured-in-train-derailment-in-burnaby-1.1634951

[ezcol_1half]The coal spill [shown in red] is on Silver Creek [shown in blue], one that’s a bit west from Stoney Creek.  Silver Creek flows into the Brunette River at the east end of Burnaby Lake.  There were salmon spawning last fall in the short stretch from Winston to the Brunette.[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]Spill location [/ezcol_1half_end]

[ezcol_1half]

IMG_0502[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]You can see where the coal-laden water meets the cleaner water just downstream from where Silver Creek joins Burnaby Lake[photo taken at green X] :[/ezcol_1half_end]

[ezcol_1half]Still trying to get scientific answers from all the players.  CN and its environmental consultants are responsible for the clean-up efforts, which are monitored by BC Ministry of Environment. Fisheries and Oceans have no say as spills of a ‘deleterious substance’ into a fish-bearing waterway are handled by Environment Canada. ”

As you may be aware, Environment Canada is responsible for administering the pollution prevention provisions of the Fisheries Act, which prohibits the deposit of deleterious substances into water frequented by fish. The Department of Fisheries and Ocean is responsible for enforcing the habitat protection provisions of the Fisheries Act.

We are aware of the recent coal train derailment on January 11, 2014, in Burnaby, BC, and our Enforcement Officers are monitoring the situation.  As coal of this consistency is generally not considered deleterious, no immediate violations of the pollution prohibition sections of the Fisheries Act have been observed.  However, we will continue to work with the BC Ministry of Environment, who is leading the response, and monitor the situation.”[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]Detailed questions about the amount of powdered coal in the load that was spilled into Silver Creek and a chemical analysis of the metals and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the coal powder remain unanswered.  See http://daily.sightline.org/2013/03/20/how-unburnt-coal-affects-water-the-state-of-the-science/

2014-02-24
I had a phone conversation with Luanne Patterson, System Manager – Environmental Assessment, about CN’s recovery plans. This is what I understood her to say:

Their study estimates there are 5.5 cubic meters of coal along the banks of Silver Creek (but little in the channel?), 76 cubic meters in Burnaby Lake, and the remainder in the Brunette river from the Cariboo dam to the Fraser River, for a total of 82.8 m3. They expect to recover 81.4 m3 and will set up next week to begin removal.  They will use mostly hand digging along the banks of Silver Creek and vacuum recovery from a barge in Burnaby Lake. They have not yet received a chemical analysis of the powdered coal that was spilled.

CN is in receipt of all permits and approvals required for the recovery efforts, including DFO and will begin this week to recover the coal.[/ezcol_1half_end]