Hydro One crews in clean-up mode after an oil spill in the Don River

Hydro One cleanup crews continue their work at the Don River on Saturday after an oil spill from one of its transmission sites spilled into the river a day earlier.

Nancy Clark, a spokeswoman for Hydro One, said one of the company’s transformers at the Bathurst transmission station in North York failed early Friday morning, leading to the release of mineral insulating oil.

“We immediately dispatched our environmental emergency response teams and cleanup efforts are underway,” Clark told CBC Toronto.

Mineral oil is a widely used insulating oil for the safe operation of electrical systems, she said.

“On site we have containment units in case of a mineral oil leak from any of our equipment, but due to the additional volume of rain and snow we have received over the past few days, it is resulted in these units being overwhelmed.”

Vacuum trucks and sorbent booms are currently being used to recover as much oil as possible, she said.

An active scene

Clark said the spill site is still an “active scene.” An investigation is underway to determine how much mineral oil has been released, how much is in the containment pits, and how much has been recovered to date.

They will carry out further assessment and any necessary remediation work in the coming weeks and months, she said.

“We take this responsibility very seriously and our goal in the event of a spill is to prevent or mitigate any potential impact on the environment.”

Clark predicts that the first emergency part of the cleanup along the creek and outside the station could take two to three days.

She said Hydro One was working with the City of Toronto as well as the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to resolve the issue.

“It’s very concerning,” the adviser said. Mike Colle says

Com. Mike Colle, who represents Ward 8, Eglinton–Lawrence, said this was the first time he knew of a chemical oil spill in the Don River.

While Hydro One says area residents shouldn’t worry, Colle says otherwise.

“It’s very concerning because it’s one of the two main rivers in Toronto, this one and the Humber, plus the Don which eventually empties into Lake Ontario and that’s the water we drink “, Colle told CBC News.

“It’s a very, very sensitive ecosystem in the middle of the city.”

The councilor said he would get a full report on the spill and ensure there was a thorough follow-up.

Hydro One senior communications adviser Richard Francella said the Bathurst Transmitter Station is located at 155 Goddard Street, near the intersection of Bathurst and Sheppard.

Francella said cleanup efforts are underway downstream, with booms deployed along the West Branch of the Don River at 4090 Yonge Street, and an additional location at 7529 Eglington Avenue East to prevent further spread. .

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