UPDATE: Suncor Refinery detects sheen on St. Clair River

Suncor Sarnia Refinery. May 7, 2019. (Photo by Colin Gowdy, BlackburnNews)

Suncor Sarnia Refinery activated an incident response after a sheen was found on the St. Clair River Wednesday evening.

The company says at about 7:35 p.m., there was an overflow of the refinery’s internal sewer system due to heavy rainfall, resulting in a sheen on the St. Clair River.

According to the Aamjiwnaang Notification System, a spill was detected on the river west of Indian Road and north of Lasalle Line. The refinery’s spill response team deployed booms into the river.

Suncor Senior Advisor Community Relations Jennifer Meharey said the overflow is no longer active as it was quickly diverted Wednesday night.

“There may be more periods of heavy rain today (Thursday), so additional measures have been implemented, including increasing our ability to pump water and divert it to a safe holding area, to avoid any potential additional impacts to the river,” said Meharey.

She said Suncor has been in close contact with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, the Spills Action Centre and downriver water users on both sides of the border to ensure they have timely information about this event and the clean-up process.

Cleanup efforts continue to address any remaining material, and community members may notice increased activity near the Suncor dock.

Should action be required by the community, instructions will be issued by the municipality via MyCNN.