Nova Scotia Power blames Tuft’s Cove oil spill on corroded pipe

Nova Scotia Power blames Tuft’s Cove oil spill on corroded pipe

Just over four months after a pipe leaked about 24,000 litres of oil at the Nova Scotia Power Plant in Tuft’s Cove, the utility says cleanup is complete.

“Environment Canada and Nova Scotia Environment have both been on site to inspect the area,” said Nova Scotia Power spokesperson, Tiffany Chase.

“Particularly the remaining area that we had left to complete along the shoreline.”

According to Nova Scotia Power, the spill that was discovered on August 2 leaked about 5,000 litres into the water.

“We can confirm that the hole that formed in the pipe, it was a small section of pipe that was corroded,” said Chase.

“Generally that pipe is covered in insulation, so we had previously undetected this portion of the pipe.”

In addition to cleanup efforts, the Power company also stripped the property’s piping of insulation to check on its condition.

“Why didn’t you do that sooner?” questioned Mark Butler with the Ecology Action Centre. Corrosion, he argues, is nothing new at the site and there should have been better practices in place.

Chase says the company has always abided by a pipe inspection program that is regulated in the province, but says a full analysis into the root cause is ongoing, though the final report will not be made public.

But Butler says that’s part of the problem.

“It’s really helpful to know why something happened, and how you’re going to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” Butler said.

“It’s good to know what users and companies along the harbour are doing to make sure the harbour is protected.”

Nova Scotia Power says it takes environmental commitments seriously and every square inch of the pipe has been inspected. As for the report, Chase says while the company provides as much information as they can to the public, the matter is between them and the regulator.

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