An unusual scene unfolded on “Colonel By Lake” on the Rideau Canal today.
Emergency crews gathered to test their response to a pipeline spill.
The so-called “line number-9″ has been the focus of environmental protests in the past.
And today, officials with Enbridge — the pipeline’s owner — got to practice how they’d deal with the real thing.
As Darryn Davis reports, the mock drill was being watched very closely.
Dozens of Enbridge first responders were spread out near Kingston Mills Locks taking part in a full field emergency training exercise …. in case of an oil leak on their #9 pipeline.
The line that weaves through Southern Ontario, and has sparked past protests over the environmental risks.
“There was a mock, third party strike to the pipeline that resulted in a release of crude oil from the pipeline and that travelled overland and subsequently got into the watercourse. ”
The body of water in this instance is Colonel By Lake — part of the historic Rideau Canal System.
Rideau Acres campground is serving as the nerve centre for the mock drill.
“The areas that have red lines are where as it says in the ledger we have continuous oiling or very heavy levels of contamination.
The yellow areas are where we have more intermittent light contamination. ”
The people in this room are coordinating the emergency response— Enbridge employees are networking with a wide range of municipal, provincial and federal organizations.
“Fire, police, EMS, and we bring them into this because they’re the authority in this jurisdiction.
It’s their area we’re there to help them and we’re under their authority. ”
Boats, booms and skimmers are deployed to contain and clean up the spill under the watchful eyes of the national energy board.
Members of the N.E.B. are on hand observing and taking notes, making sure the response is sufficient and meets federal regulations.
They’re looking at things like the safety of clean-up crews and the public.
“Non compliance with part of their plans in terms of how they would respond to an emergency, how they would prepare for that, so that could require some kind of enforcement action.”
“Equally important to the exercise is what happens next when everything’s done and that’s the analysis of how things went. ”
That post exercise evaluation will involve first responders, along with the National Energy Board and Enbridge.
“That eventually will be posted on-line on our website and I believe we’ve committed by the end of the year for that to be posted.”
Enbridge and similar companies in the energy industry are required to carry out exercises like this one every three years.
A chance to train for a disaster, but hope it never happens.
And if this was a real spill — this guy would not be on the water.
Darryn Davis CKWS Newswatch Kingston.