December 5, 2018

Completion of Tufts Cove oil clean-up

A timeline of our response and recovery efforts following the oil leak at Tufts Cove

tuc cropCurrent Status

The Tufts Cove oil clean-up is now complete. Environment and Climate Change Canada and Nova Scotia Environment have both inspected the site and confirmed the shoreline clean-up meets the requirements of the approved Shoreline Treatment Plan.

The final phase of work involved replacing appr. 150 metres of large rock boulders directly in front of the plant. These boulders were installed in the 1990’s to maintain the structural integrity of underground infrastructure and as an artificial barrier to protect our property from water erosion.

The oil leak was caused by a small section of pipe that failed due to corrosion. The corrosion had thinned the pipe wall, which was under pipe insulation. Since the leak, we have removed all pipe insulation and inspected every square inch of piping on our property to ensure it is in good condition.

We take full responsibility for this unfortunate incident. We take our environmental commitments very seriously and we will apply what we have learned throughout the clean-up and subsequent investigation across our business to minimize the risk of something like this happening again.


Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018

  • Tufts Cove staff discovered oil leak, Environmental Response Plan was activated:
    • booms deployed in Halifax Harbour to contain the oil;
    • ECRC (Eastern Canada Response Corporation), environmental services contractor and a certified marine response organization, arrived on-site;
    • notification to the federal Environmental Emergencies 1-800 line and the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office.
  • Provided public statement and social media update.

Friday, Aug. 3, 2018

  • Nova Scotia Environment (NSE) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), visited Tufts Cove to review the oil leak and containment.
  • Written report of the incident to NSE that less than 5,000 litres of oil was estimated to have released off the plant site into Halifax Harbour based on visual assessments from land and air.
  • ECRC deployed oil absorbent materials called “pom poms” and “socks”, and noisemakers were initiated along the shoreline to deter birds and mammals away from site.
  • Internal team assigned to initiate a comprehensive root cause investigation.
  • Provided public statement and social media update.

Weekend of Aug. 4 – 6, 2018

  • More than 80 Nova Scotia Power and contractor personnel worked on emergency response effort to recover oil from Halifax Harbour.
  • ECRC drafted Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique for oil recovery and treatment.

Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018

  • ECCC convened Science Table. Representatives include NSE, ECCC (Environmental Emergencies & Canadian Wildlife Service), DFO, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), and Millbrook First Nation.

Friday, Aug. 10, 2018

  • Submitted official written notification to NSE of the oil release into Halifax Harbour, in compliance with the Contaminated Sites Regulations.

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018

  • Notified Science Table and NSE of oil leak volume estimates and recovery status for Halifax Harbour (95% of less than 5,000 litres), the containment trench (95% of 9,900 litres), and the Unit 1 cooling water system (50% of 9,400 litres).

Friday, Aug. 17, 2018

  • Science Table provided confirmation of acceptance of proposed end-points for cleanup outlined in Shoreline Clean-up and Assessment Technique and Shoreline Treatment Plan.

Thursday, Aug. 30 to early December, 2018

  • Clean-up efforts focused on the detailed clean-up directly in front of the plant, which was the most impacted. The final phase of work involved replacing approximately 150 metres of large rock boulders – called rip rap – where the remaining oil was located.