Diesel spill at Lac Bélair

Emergency response in Val-Morin

Posted on May 25, 2022 by Alex Proteau

A fuel tank that was being used for construction work at Chemin du Lac-Fortier was accidentally overturned near Chemin du Lac-Fortier and Lac Bélair in Val-Morin around 13 May.

A boom built at Lac Bélair to prevent diesel from spreading (Courtesy photo)

A boom built at Lac Bélair to prevent diesel from spreading (Courtesy photo)

The incident would, however, be controlled.  (Courtesy photo)

A large part of the leak located near the reservoir was quickly excavated, but a flow was made by the streams and the remaining amount will unfortunately go to Lake Bélair, indicates the municipality of Val-Morin in a press release.

The company, DJCO Construction, was responsible for the site located on the Chemin du Lac-Fortier domain strip.

Invited to comment on the situation, its president Jonathan Sarrazin has some doubts about how the incident happened, not ruling out the possibility that someone else damaged the tank. The latter bases his fears on the fact that his team hasn’t been on the scene for “almost three weeks”.

Consequences on fauna and flora?

The company Laforge Environnement was in charge of supervising the environmental disaster management work and ensuring the supervision of the decontamination and restoration of the facilities. The president of the company Laforge Environnement, Marie-Josée Bhérer, recalls that the company has three legal obligations, namely to stop the spill, to notify the ministry and to recover all spilled contaminants.

“They limited and stopped [le déversement] and put up barricades and barriers. Rapid excavation work was also done to recover contaminants at the source of the spill,” she said.

Among the works carried out, two dams with absorbent towels and stone were installed by the Fire Department at the level of the ditch of the road under construction, which will have allowed to limit the amount of diesel that spreads to the water courses.

“Right now, they are recovering at source the entire portion that was impacted (sic) by the spill,” he adds.

The incident would, however, be controlled. According to her, there is currently an iridescence, which causes the appearance of “rainbows” in the water, meaning, according to her, a small amount of hydrocarbons in the lake. In this sense, official data from the Ministry of the Environment on the consequences of this environmental incident have not yet been published, but according to the first information received, it seems that the damage is controllable by the usual means of intervention.

Mrs. Bhérer recalls that it is important to recover all the hydrocarbons, as these can, if they remain in the water, “alter the fauna and flora”.

“Disappointed” Mayor

In a press release, the mayor of Val-Morin, Donna Salvati, said she was dismayed by the situation, but satisfied with the measures taken.

“We hope that the impacts of this unfortunate accident on the Lac Bélair sector and its ecosystem will be limited thanks to the actions that were taken quickly. A thorough, step-by-step cleanup is being carried out by the company mandated to limit impacts,” he said.
Donna Salvati, Mayor of Val-Morin

Mario Lortie, urban planning and environment technician at the Municipality of Val-Morin, will act as coordinator between the various authorities in order to guarantee the supervision of the work, communication and a constant presence on the ground.

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