Environmental Emergency

How to prevent an environmental emergency caused by an oil leak from a high-voltage transformer

Did you know that an oil spill caused by a faulty high-voltage transformer is now imputable by law? Everyone is required to report an environmental emergency. The magnitude of a situation that requires triggering the alert varies depending on the judgment of each. An environmental emergency normally requires immediate intervention, for example for serious injury, intoxication, smoke, fire or fumes that may require evacuation of the population.

With regard to insulating oil spills, as soon as one (1) liter or more is likely to directly contaminate a watercourse, marsh or other ecosystem, one can speak of an environmental emergency. In fact, one (1) liter of oil can contaminate a million liters (220,264 imperial gallons) of water or 1,000 cubic meters of water (almost half of an Olympic pool). We then have 1 PPM (one part per million) of oil in the water. We can understand that if it's drinking water or a sensitive environment such as a swamp, the impacts can quickly become more critical.

Even during an oil spill in the best conditions, there will be soil contamination. If the soil is not treated and the oil is not recovered, it will migrate by percolation into the soil. The oil will gradually penetrate the soil with the rains until it reaches the water table. Under the best conditions, the oil will accumulate on a sealed surface such as concrete, rock or clay. If you emit contaminants in water intended for human consumption, you are liable to fines ranging from $ 10,000 to $ 1 million for those involved. In the case of companies, fines can range between $ 20,000 and $ 6 million (section 115.32 of Quebec's Environmental Quality Act). Similarly, a failure to notify or provide the information required by law may result in fines between $ 1,000 and $ 600,000.

The most effective way to avoid an environmental emergency is to implement preventative measures. Voltra technology's DRH4 offers clients a cost effective, turnkey solution that allows for optimal energy production and peace of mind.