Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Service

Burnaby Oil Spill

Click to view larger image


Barnett Highway in Burnaby

Time and Date of Incident

July 24, 2007 - 1230 hours

Product/Quantity Spilled 1

Crude Oil - approximately 234,000 litres

Cause of Spill

A Kinder Morgan crude oil pipeline connecting their Burnaby Tank Farm to the Westridge Marine Terminal was punctured by a construction crew digging along the Barnett Highway.

Environmental Setting and Impacts

Approximately 50 homes, property, and a section of the Barnett Highway were impacted when the 24 inch pipeline was ruptured, resulting in a 30 meter geyser of oil spraying into the air and covering the surrounding area with oil over approximately a 25 minute period. Subsequently the oil seeped into the surrounding soil, storm drains, sewer lines and along other down gradient pathways. The oil moving through the storm drain system eventually reached the marine waters of Burrard Inlet below the spill site where it began to spread further with wind and tides.

11 homes were severely impacted with oiling and numerous residents have been displaced from the area. The Barnett highway was closed for several days due to the oil covering the area and the need for cleanup activities. The marine environment in Burrard Inlet and approximately 1200 meters of shoreline have also been affected. A number of birds have also been impacted after coming in contact with the oil.

Additional impacts are also likely due to the ongoing nature of the event at the current time. Ministry staff continue to assess and monitor the situation, provide technical expertise to the response efforts, and ensure appropriate cleanup is carried out.

Link to City of Burnaby - Inlet Drive Ruptured Pipeline

Response Participants

Responsible Party 2

  • Kinder Morgan

Lead Agencies 3

  • Provincial: Ministry of Environment
  • Federal: National Energy Board
  • Local Government: City of Burnaby
  • First Nations: Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations

Primary Participating Contractors and other Agencies

  • Burrard Clean Operations
  • Quantum Environmental
  • Polaris
  • Focus Wildlife
  • Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans
  • Canadian Coast Guard
  • Environment Canada
  • Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
  • RCMP
  • Provincial Emergency Program
  • Vancouver Port Authority

Click to view larger image Shoreline containment and cleanup activities

Response Summary/Closure

The BC Ministry of Environment, as the lead ministry for hazardous material and oil spills, established Unified Command with the Responsible Party and the National Energy Board to coordinate the response efforts under the Incident Command System. Burrard Clean Operations has been conducting on-water containment and recovery of oil in Burrard Inlet. Other contractors and agencies (included in the list above) have been working on clean-up and other response activities on both land and water.

The Ministry of Environment has dispatched both regional staff and members of the Provincial Incident Management Team to address both overall management of the response efforts and to provide specific response functions including waste management issues, shoreline cleanup and assessment, and investigation activities.


1. Conversions 1 barrel = 42 US gallons = O.16 cubic metres
1 cubic meter = 6.29 barrels = 264 US gallons = 1,000 litres
1 tonne = 7 barrels
1 nautical miles = 1.85 kilometers
Note: volume and mass relationships vary with density of product.

2. Responsible Party Responsible Party (RP) refers an agency or company taking responsibility for impact mitigation (e.g. cleanup, response management) as a possible consequence of their actions or that of a third party. Generally referred to as either the spiller or polluter.

3. Lead Agencies Agencies that have jurisdictional (federal, provincial, local governments, and First Nations) or functional (Fire, Police, Ambulance) command roles in managing the incident. The designation of the lead agency may be based on legislation, an interagency agreement, a Cabinet decision and/or custom or precedent. There can be more than one lead agency represented under a unified command, as well as the Responsible Party.