Archive for 05/04/2012

Judith Lavoie – 

A slick of heavy oil, believed to be leaking from a bomb-laden U.S. army transport ship that sank in 1946, has appeared on Grenville Channel, 40 kilometres north of Hartley Bay.

Some estimates say the slick is kilometres long, but a Wednesday afternoon overflight by the Transport Canada pollution plane found the spill was minimal, although a sheen was dispersed over a wide area by wind, said coast guard spokesman Dan Bate.

“We are going to get a dive operation in place to patch the leak and prevent further pollution,” he said.

The slick has sent shivers of apprehension through the Gitga’at First Nation of Hartley Bay, who say previous pleas to deal with the wreck were ignored.

“We could be looking at serious environmental impacts, including threats to our traditional shellfish harvesting areas,” said Arnold Clifton,

Gitga’at chief councillor. An immediate cleanup response is needed from the federal government, he said.

“Our crew was out there yesterday taking samples and it’s gross – it’s bunker oil,” he said.

The community was told the wreck would be cleaned up by 2010, but nothing happened, Clifton said.

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