LOCATION: Beauharnois in the St. Lawrence River

Case number: 120-642

On September 19, 2013, the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) informed the Administrator about a potential oil pollution incident near Beauharnois in the St. Lawrence River. In 2011 a ship, Kathryn Spirit, which was owned by a Mexican company went aground in the Beauharnois area of Lac St. Louis. In 2012, a private contractor attempted to tow the ship off the shoal, but was not successful. During the winter of 2012, further damage occurred and the ship had listed considerably. In its report, CCG noted that when the ship ran aground there were approximately 100 tonnes of bunker fuel oil on board, which could become a pollution threat in Lac St. Louis. Transport Canada Marine Safety contacted the owner of the ship and informed CCG that by mid-September 2013, only 30 tonnes of oil has been pumped out of the grounded ship. The ship still remains near the locks in Lac St. Louis and has been wasting away. The City of Beauharnois has been raising concerns about the incident for a few years and is seeking to have the authorities intervene.

On February 1, 2016, the Media Relations of Fisheries and Oceans Canada reported that a collaborative Working Group has been established to examine options for a permanent and safe solution for the Kathryn Spirit. The Working Group consists of representatives from the CCG, Transport Canada, Environment Canada and the province of Quebec. The Media Relations adds that to maintain a safe marine environment, the derelict vessel will continue to be monitored by Transport Canada until the situation is permanently resolved. Meanwhile, the report file remains open.