Diesel leak at Olympic venue under investigation

By BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

VANCOUVER- Diesel-powered generators are being inspected by supplier Aggreko after a 200-litre spill late Tuesday evening outside the Olympic stadium.

“The exact mechanical failure that caused the spill is under review,” said VANOC operations communications director Lizette Parsons Bell in a prepared statement.

Parsons Bell said the spill at B.C. Place Stadium's east airlock was fully contained by an on-site catchment system. “No diesel fuel entered the city sewer system,” she said.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services and its hazardous materials crew, VANOC contractor Hazco and the City of Vancouver environmental protection branch attended. The Provincial Emergency Program was notified.

“There should not be any significant or long term environmental impacts as a result of this spill,” Parsons Bell claimed.

Area residents have complained of round-the-clock noise coming from the shipping container-sized generators. The generators do not appear to have mufflers to minimize noise or catalytic converters to minimize exhaust.

“We are working on a solution but it is complex in nature and will take a few days to implement,” she said. “We hope to have the situation resolved this weekend.”

The incident was the latest in a string of troubles plaguing the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics’ Feb. 12 opening ceremony. Rainwater that pooled on the air-supported fabric roof during a Jan. 14 storm came through drainage holes and fell like a waterfall inside the stadium.

The two-person Riggit Services maintenance crew was on a meal break, according to a source. Lights and speakers attached to a truss are causing the roof to flatten. Hoses, pumps and a tent are visible on the roof as a crew of three people are now on-call around the clock to deal with precipitation.

B.C. Place general manager Howard Crosley did not respond to an interview request.

The taxpayer-owned, 1983-opened stadium will close after the Games and be retrofitted with a $458 million retractable roof by summer 2011.

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