Update to residents regarding January 21 Parkland Refinery incident

Last updated: April 25, 2024

To my fellow Burnaby resident,

As part of our ongoing commitment to being accountable and transparent, and further to my January 25 message to residents, I want to update you on City actions following the January 21 Parkland Refinery incident that resulted in the release of odorous gas.

Regulatory compliance

At the direction of Burnaby City Council, a request was submitted to the BC Energy Regulator (BCER) for an independent investigation of the incident at the Parkland refinery. At its February 12 meeting, City Council learned the Parkland Refinery is not regulated by BCER, instead they are regulated by different entities such as Metro Vancouver and WorkSafeBC.

As of April 24, the City is still waiting for a formal response from BCER. Once the letter is received, the Mayor and the CAO will seek to meet with the Province to request the refinery is properly regulated under the BCER and the safety of the community is ensured.

Cost recovery for fire services

City Council also directed staff to explore the feasibility of recovering costs for the deployment of more than 34 Burnaby firefighters and 8 operational trucks to the Parkland refinery on January 21. The City issued the invoice to Parkland and on February 29 we received a response Letter from Parkland as well as payment totaling $31,872.30 back to the City.

Actions of others

As the regulator of air emissions for the region, Metro Vancouver is investigating whether Parkland violated its air quality permit conditions. Depending on the result of the investigation, Environmental Regulation and Enforcement staff may recommend enforcement action. This investigation will take some time.

Parkland held a public Community Information Session on February 20 to discuss the January 21 incident, including actions taken at the time as well as following the incident. On April 1, Parkland announced that it had completed a multi-week process to restart its refinery operations.

During Parkland’s restart process, Metro Vancouver deployed its mobile air monitoring unit (MAMU) to do additional air quality monitoring. MAMU measured no exceedances of air quality objectives during that time, however further data is still being assessed.

What’s happening now?

Over the last year, the City has been engaged in a process to update the Burnaby Fire Services Bylaw to keep with best practices. Updates will include the addition of performance standards in emergency management for hydrocarbon facility operators. We anticipate this update will be brought before City Council for review later this year.

I hope you have found this letter helpful.

At the City, your safety is vitally important to us.


Mike Hurley

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