ABBOTSFORD (NEWS1130) – Students at Auguston Elementary School in Abbotsford were kept inside their classrooms Tuesday because of an oil spill.

Abbotsford School District Manager of Communications Dave Stephen says it was just a precaution because of the strong odour.

“Just to make sure everyone was healthy and okay we kept the kids inside and shuttered down some of the air filtration system so there wasn’t much of a smell coming inside the school,” Stephen said.

The spill happened just before 7 a.m. at the Kinder Morgan Sumas Terminal on Sumas Mountain. The company did not say how much oil spilled, but Kinder Morgan External Relations Manager Lexa Hobenshield says it has been fully contained.

“Foam will be applied to control any odours and the product is being vacuumed up,” Hobenshield said in a release. “Air monitoring is being performed to ensure public and employee safety.”

Investigators are still looking into what caused the spill. The company is monitoring air quality to make sure workers and people in the area are safe. People are being asked to stay out of the area.

The Wilderness Committee hopes the spill draws attention to Kinder Morgan’s efforts to expand their oil pipeline between Alberta and Burnaby.

The Committee’s Ben West says Kinder Morgan has been working under the radar, overshadowed by Enbridge’s Northern Gateway project.

“Obviously it’s in their interest to try to continue to expand these pipelines, and you know we think at the bare minimum there needs to be public consultations and full environmental assessments.  You know, really it seems like a no brainer when you’re worried about oil spills in today’s day and age,” says West.
He adds Kinder Morgan is considering further increases to the capacity of its Trans-Mountain Pipeline – part of the system involved in the Abbotsford spill.

Expansion could see an increase from 300 thousand to 700 thousand barrels a day.  

“They have a plan to get their pipeline even bigger than the Enbridge pipeline within a couple of years, so hopefully this incident in Abbotsford you know really just serves as a wake-up call for us all.”