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No environmental impact from Charlottetown Harbour fuel spill, says province

A boom was set in the water to contain the spill from the MV Ancier. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)
A boom was set in the water to contain the spill from the MV Ancier. (Shane Hennessey/CBC - image credit)

After a number of sites were inspected along the Hillsborough River, P.E.I. environmental officers say they've found no impact from a fuel spill in Charlottetown Harbour.

The spill was first reported Sunday by a person living on the eastern bank of the river, near the community of Mermaid. The source was traced to MV Ancier, currently at dock in Charlottetown Harbour, and blamed on a problem during refueling.

An environmental officer inspected the Mermaid Cove site on Monday, and on Tuesday officers inspected a further 10 sites on both banks of the river.

"There remains a diesel smell and sheen on the water and ice in Mermaid Cove," the province said in a news release Wednesday morning, "but [officers] are confident there is no apparent risk to groundwater, shellfish resources or wildlife in the area."

The Canadian Coast Guard has taken charge of containing the spill itself and is investigating how much total fuel was spilled.

CBC News has requested more information about how much fuel was released, but no answer was provided as of late Wednesday afternoon.

The Ancier, built in 1973 and formerly known as Vacancier, was a cruise ship/car ferry that from 2002 to 2019 ran a route for CTMA from Montreal to Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

It was decommissioned during the pandemic, and was sold in December.

The vessel is on its way to be scrapped in India.