Residential heating-fuel tank could be source of Gorge Creek spill

A leaking residential heating-fuel tank is thought to be the source of a spill that’s contaminating Gorge Creek in Esquimalt, the Ministry of Environment said late Thursday.

The ministry issued a statement indicating that Esquimalt Public Works is still trying to confirm the source.

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Environmental emergency response officers were at the site earlier Thursday, at which time “the spill did not appear to be contained,” the statement said.

Gorge Creek, which runs beside Esquimalt Gorge Park and flows into the Gorge Waterway, is an ecologically sensitive area home to a bird sanctuary, coho salmon, herring and other wildlife.

The ministry alerted Esquimalt to the spill on Saturday after a resident called the provincial hotline.

The township said it continues to investigate potential spill sites in the township’s northern neighbourhoods.

Crews are using booms and absorbent materials in the creek to contain the spill and capture the escaped fuel. Heavy rain and higher-than-usual tides, however, are complicating the cleanup process and the township is hiring an environmental consultant to assist.

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