Environment ministry reviews reported sediment spill in Burnaby creek

Kinder Morgan says it is investigating reported construction runoff

The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Kinder Morgan are investigating the reported sediment spill into a Silver Creek tributary south of Trans Mountain’s terminal in Burnaby last week.

The ministry received a report of sediment in the creek from a Burnaby streamkeeper who believed the source was from construction runoff at the terminal, and notified the federal environment response officials and Kinder Morgan, according to an email statement sent to the NOW. Construction runoff can fill the water with silt, which can causing breathing problems for salmon downstream, and smother their eggs.

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Lizette Parsons Bell, lead of stakeholder engagement and communications for the Trans Mountain expansion, said they are working with the B.C. MOE and responding to requests for information.

“We immediately investigated and are continuing to investigate. We are keeping the Ministry informed of our progress,” she said in an email statement. “Activities at site are guided by a Sediment Management Plan and overseen by an environmental monitor. All required Environmental approvals are in place to complete the work.”

construction runoff silver creek kinder morgan
Excavator working beside Silver Creek tributary April 18. - John Preissl, Contributed

The City of Burnaby also looked into the reported spill. James Lota, deputy director of engineering, said they received a complaint about sediment in the creek at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, and at 3 p.m. staff reported the water was clear. No samples were taken, but they will be following up on the situation.

“Our staff go up there regularly to check on the stream, not just Silver Creek, but all our streams out there, doing our regular checks on all our creeks … to make sure that whatever was witnessed at 2:30 on Friday doesn’t happen again,” he told the NOW.

Mud and sediment from work at the north end of the property fell into the tributary that runs from Burnaby mountain, through Kinder Morgan's property, and down into Silver Creek, according to Burnaby streamkeeper John Preissl. A worker was on site with an excavator attempting to remediate the area Friday which saw increased water flow through the area due to heavy rain.

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