Officials: ‘No observed impacted fish or wildlife’ as a result of January fuel spill

PUSLINCH – On April 12, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOECP) provided an update regarding a large fuel spill here earlier this year.

On Jan. 13 at about 1:40am a fuel tanker and a second vehicle collided on the 401 eastbound lanes at Highway 6 north. The tanker, carrying 50,000 litres of fuel, rolled on its side and a spill occurred.

The MOECP release states surface water sample results continue to be stable and below protective surface water guidelines in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek, south of the fuel spill area.

Some sheen and a slight fuel odour have been observed at certain locations in Mill Creek, upstream of the Wellington Road 35 creek crossing.

Ministry officials say a consultant continues to conduct visual creek assessments, which include observing and documenting the presence of sheen and/or liquid phase hydrocarbons, fuel odour, and wildlife.

The consultant will also continue with surface water monitoring and sampling at key locations upstream and downstream from the point of loss in the Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek.

Officials say there has been “no observed impacted fish or wildlife associated with the fuel spill to date.”

Recent observations

Recent observations noted in the MOEC release  include:

– healthy amphibians and reptiles at the Concession 2 Creek crossing;

– migratory birds, including Canada geese and mallard ducks, at locations along Mill Creek;

– fish, showing no signs of visible distress, between Concession 2 and Wellington Road 35 creek crossings; and

– a large number of active juvenile fish in Mill Creek in the area of the private dam (Grandy Lane in Cambridge).

Upcoming Activities

The MOECP will conduct surface water and sediment sampling in areas in Shades Mill Reservoir and a fish study within Mill Creek.

Ministry officials say the consultant is in the process of finalizing the Shoreline Clean up Assessment Technique (SCAT) survey results and developing a treatment plan to be reviewed by the MOECP.

The consultant’s ecotoxicologist will be providing an assessment on fisheries and fish health in Aberfoyle Creek and Mill Creek.

Questions can be directed to Lynette Armour, provincial officer, at 519-826-4759 or 1-800-265-8658.