Work to clean up a gasoline spill in Baker Lake, announced April 22, is expected to be complete by the fall and monitoring will continue into 2023, the Government of Nunavut stated on Tuesday.
It has been determined that the spill originated from two sources at the community’s fuel tank farm. The main valve of tank two and the supply pipe drain valve of tank five were found to be faulty.
Both valves have been replaced, according to the Department of Community and Government Services (CGS).
“Sampling to-date continues to show that the spill has not extended into Baker Lake and the risk of doing so is low,” the GN stated.
Eight of the nine fuel tanks have been inspected and re-certified. The other is undergoing repairs, expected to be complete in a few days.
The liner of the protective berms has been repaired. It surrounds the tank farm to contain any future spills.
A wall has been created to prevent the movement of hydrocarbons, a component of the fuel. Water and soil already contaminated is being stored in two temporary containment cells. Treatment of the polluted water is ongoing.
Agnico Eagle Mines is providing assistance by treating several tankers of impacted water at its own site. The company has also lent machinery and liner material.
CGS added that weekly updates on the situation are being provided to Baker Lake’s mayor and senior administrative officer.
The GN didn’t specify on Tuesday how much fuel is estimated to have leaked at the tank farm, but previously stated in May that the volume was approximately 10,000 litres. Clean-up costs were expected to reach $500,000 to $1 million, as of May.
Although the spill was revealed to the public in April, the incident occurred in March.