An aerial view of rows of circular propane silos beside a residential area

Suncor Energy accidentally released 700 kilograms of propane at Port Moody terminal, prompting compliance letter

By Patrick Penner, Tri-Cities Dispatch, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Suncor Energy’s terminal in Port Moody has been issued an advisory by the province after 700 kilograms of propane was released into the environment.

The oil company’s upper Burrard Terminal is located in the Glenayre neighbourhood and used as a product distribution facility. 

On Dec. 15, 2022, human error led to the release of the propane, but the company did not report the incident until Jan. 24.

The Environmental Management Act requires companies to immediately report spill incidents to the province’s emergency program.

Ministry of Environment inspectors conducted an office review inspection on May 17, 2023, to assess compliance with spill reporting regulations.

“Suncor Energy is considered to be out of compliance until such a time as it can be confirmed to meet the regulatory requirements,” the advisory stated.

The advisory – which is a precursor to an official warning and administrative penalties – will be taken into account if further regulatory non-compliance occurs.

The company’s Port Moody terminal recently received a warning following a planned on-site inspection on Aug. 9, 2022, which was assessing compliance with the company’s effluent discharge (wastewater) permit.

An environmental engineer informed inspectors of an unauthorized wastewater discharge that bypassed the stormwater treatment system following heavy rainfalls in November 2021.

Inspectors checked their electronic records and found no notification record from the company.

Numerous other non-compliance issues were noted related to deficiencies of reporting, sampling and analyses taken at the site.

Editor’s note: some previous spills in the Lower Fraser Valley

Top image credit: Birdseye view of Suncor Energy’s Upper Burrard Terminal. City of Port Moody image

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