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

Vernon's spring leaf pickup program is underway. (File photo)
Vernon rakes up residents’ bagged leaves

Pickup this week, must be in clear plastic bags

Public input on the City of Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget is open until 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, 2021. (City of Enderby photo)
Enderby’s proposed 2021 budget open for public input

The proposed spending plan includes a 2.2 per cent tax increase; public input open until Monday

Coldstream students took over the Your Letters page in the April 9, 2021, edition of the Vernon Morning Star to offer advice to adults about COVID-19. Interior Health took notice and offered their praise. (Vernon Morning Star)
Coldstream students’ COVID advice praised by Interior Health

Grade 2 and 3 classes from Coldstream Elementary took over the Morning Star’s Letters page April 9

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon dealership gives Towne Cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Interior Health’s overdose prevention site in Vernon is saving lives. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Vernon’s controversial overdose prevention site saving lives

Site sees fewer problems than expected, but some still want it moved

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Mervin Mascarenhas giving one of his pens to Honorary JP-MP. Premier David Burt of Bermuda. (Image: Mervin Mascarenhas)
Kelowna man who made $90K ‘Space Pen’ recognized by dignitaries, sheikhs

Mervin Mascarenhas is the first Canadian to grace the cover of Millennium Millionaire Magazine

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks games against Leafs postponed as team returns from COVID-19

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Old English design elements can be seen in the sign of the Summerland Farm and Garden Centre in 1993. The guidelines are no longer in place, but some downtown businesses still show aspects of the days when Summerland had a theme in place. This photo was taken by Summerland photographer Dan Dorotich. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Summerland’s Old English theme has been abandoned

From the 1980s until the early 2000s, Summerland had design guidelines in its downtown

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Island woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

Becomes first person in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

Most Read