The Ministry of Environment (MOE) is investigating after a boat dumped fuel from a damaged engine at Lock 26 of the Trent-Severn Waterway in Lakefield on Monday night.
Gary Muloin, an environmental officer with the MOE, tells Global News, Trent-Severn Waterway staff used a boom to clean up the spill early Tuesday morning and that there was no further threat to the environment,
He tells us a small amount of the fuel may have flowed downstream and that Peterborough Utilities, who manages the wastewater treatment plant in the nearby city has been notified.
He said there was no threat to the drinking water.
Ed Paleczny lives nearby and tells Global News Peterborough he saw a large fuel slick surrounding a houseboat at the lock on Monday.
He notified the MOE’s action spill response line.
“It was a big oil slick that went from Lock 26 to about 1,000 feet up where the outflow goes into the Otonabee River,” said Paleczny. “It doesn’t take much to damage our drinking water or the environment.”
On Tuesday morning, the boat attempted to leave the lock to head back to Buckhorn.
A woman, who claimed to be with the boaters, was walking along the shoreline.
She wished her name not be published.
She told Global News, the boaters were travelling from Buckhorn to Toronto when they encountered a failure to one of its two engines at Lock 26.
The woman said a mechanic checked it out and informed the boaters to take it close by for repairs.
The boat was seen colliding with the rocks on the shoreline as it left the lock.
In an emailed statement to Global News, Valerie de Winter, spokesperson for Parks Canada, said:
“The minor spill was quickly contained using booms and was then removed by a professional hazardous material removal contractor using a pumper truck.
Municipalities both upstream and downstream of lock 26 were advised of the incident.
A professional mechanic ensured that the problem with the boat involved was rectified and no longer presents a risk to the environment.
The response was swift and joint involving participation from the Canadian Coast Guard, the Province of Ontario (Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Spills Action Centre) and local municipalities.”
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