The generation and delivery of electricity requires the handling and use of a variety of potential
environmental contaminants such as fuel oils, lubricating oils, and chemicals. In 2003, the Hydro Group
used approximately 15 million litres of diesel fuel and 488 million litres of No.6 fuel oil to generate
electricity. While we strive to reduce the potential for leaks and spills, incidents can and do occur,
most often the result of equipment failure, unanticipated hazards, and occasionally, human error. Being
prepared for such an incident is critical to mounting a quick and effective response to minimize impacts
on people and the environment. We have developed Environmental Emergency Response Plans (EERP) to quickly,
effectively and safely deal with such incidents. Within the Hydro Group, all personnel who handle or work
around petroleum products receive training related to the EERP and, when applicable, specific operating
procedures have been developed to facilitate the safe handling of the products used.
In 2003, our personnel responded to 11 reportable spills or leaks involving petroleum products. Reportable
spills or leaks are defined as those that exceed 70 litres; or a spill or leak, regardless of quantity,
that has the potential to contaminate nearby property or enter a waterbody or sewer; or a release, or
potential release, of a PCB contaminated material. The volume of petroleum product involved ranged from
less than one litre to 1,300 litres. In each case, the incident was reported, and appropriate containment
and clean-up procedures were undertaken to remediate the affected area.
Six spill incidents occurred as a result of the failure of electrical equipment, with one incident
involving low-level PCB contaminated transformer oil. Piping leaks accounted for three spill incidents,
while human error and equipment failure accounted for the remaining two. Personnel addressed all the
incidents by containing the incident and initiating appropriate recovery and cleanup procedures. All waste
material was contained and appropriately disposed.
We also attempted to document, investigate and respond to all complaints, or expressions of concern,
on environmental matters from the public and government agencies.
In 2003, we responded to several public complaints related to environmental aspects of our operations.
The majority came from people residing close to the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station, and were
related to atmospheric emissions, excessive noise, and odour. All complaints were investigated and
results were provided to the people involved.