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Severed pipeline leaks fuel in Resolute

Daniel T'seleie
Northern News Services

Resolute (July 25/05) - A severed gas pipeline near the tank farm in Resolute on Tuesday, resulted in a spill that could top 35,000 litres.

No environmental damage is expected, said senior administrative officer Josh Hunter. A berm in the area, complete with a waterproof liner, contained the spill and should have prevented any fuel from leaking into the groundwater, Hunter said.

The pipe, which runs to the airport, was severed by an employee of Narwhal Arctic Services who was operating a bulldozer in the area.

The company is a sub-contractor working on upgrading the tanks and related equipment, including the pipeline. At three and a half inches wide, and over two kilometres long, the pipe holds more than 35,000 litres of gas, Hunter said.

According to the information Hunter has obtained, anywhere between 5,000 and 35,000 litres of gas were spilled.

In the area of the tanks, the pipe is buried in excess of one foot underground, and is protected from above by half a culvert, Hunter said. It runs above ground for the remainder of its length.

As part of the upgrading project the pipeline, built in the 1970s, will be removed and fuel will be trucked throughout town in the future, Hunter said.

The decision was made before the pipe was damaged, due to the, "potential for a spill there," Hunter said. Narwhal Arctic Services is in charge of the clean-up. As of press time, the cleaning was still under way, Hunter said.