Qulliq Energy Corp. investigating impact of Rankin Inlet glycol spill

Contractor will use heavy equipment to take samples in area surrounding leak

This map of Rankin Inlet shows in red where a contractor will be collecting soil samples to assess the impact of a glycol spill that occurred in November. (Image courtesy of QEC)

By Nunatsiaq News

Qulliq Energy Corp. is hiring a contractor in Rankin Inlet in the coming days to investigate the environmental impact of a glycol spill that occurred this past November.

Rankin Inlet residents are advised that they may be asked to move their vehicles to make way for this work from July 23 to 27, while the contractor uses heavy equipment to take soil samples, QEC said in a news release.

About 30,000 to 40,000 litres of a mixture that was half water, half glycol is believed to have leaked as a result of equipment failure. “Propylene glycol is a clear, odourless, tasteless liquid found in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, and is relatively non-toxic to humans and wildlife,” QEC said.

Propylene glycol is used in QEC’s district heating system because of its ability to transfer large amounts of heat.

At the time of the spill, QEC said that the frozen ground would make inspection difficult and that the best option would be to wait for warmer temperatures before making a full assessment.

“The corporation’s health, safety and environment department will examine the results of the investigation to determine the next steps required for environmental due diligence,” the news release states. “QEC makes every effort to limit the corporation’s environmental footprint.”

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