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Combined oil spill clean up efforts reduce contamination levels in Esquimalt creek

Esquimalt worked with province, federal government to address Gorge Creek spill
The Township of Esquimalt says combined efforts to clean up the Gorge Creek after an oil spill have reduced contamination considerably. (Twitter/@roadtripsNW)

Surface contamination levels in the Gorge Creek area have been “reduced considerably” according to the Township of Esquimalt.

On Jan. 18 a resident in the area reported an oil spill and five days later the Township identified a leaking residential home heating oil tank as the cause. The tank leaked oil into both the ground and stormwater system, aided by recent rain and snowfall.

At the time, Esquimalt estimated clean up costs to be more than $50,000.

RELATED: Esquimalt in talks with homeowner after $50,000 oil spill in Gorge Creek

Absorbent booms and other tactics have been in place in and around the creek since the spill was reported.

On Thursday, the Township said combined clean up efforts with the BC Ministry of Environment, Environment and Climate Change Canada and spill response consultants “yielded positive results in the Gorge Creek area” and several absorbent booms will be removed. The decision was made based on third-party assessments of water quality, wildlife health and surface contamination.

In a statement, Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins said she was proud of the constant presence of public works staff since the spill was found.

“Caring for our waterways is very important to the Township,” she said. “Coming off the heels of a snow storm and thrown into last week’s flooding, this year has already shown a high demand for our public works crews’ time and expertise.”

The federal government supported Esquimalt with technical and scientific advice, including recommendations for evaluating potential impacts to migratory birds.

RELATED: Booms go up in Gorge Creek after hydrocarbon spill

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