A substance dumped in a South Surrey pond earlier this month is believed to have been oil-based black paint.
According to a Ministry of Environment spokesperson, the exact pollutant remains unidentified, however, the conclusion to date was “based on the consistency of the product in the pond and how it was recovered.”
Sixteen mallards were rescued from the pond, located on property in the 18800-block of 8 Avenue, starting Oct. 7, after officials with Burnaby-based Wildlife Rescue Association were alerted to a sheen on the water.
The cleanup effort recovered approximately 55 gallons of oily paint/water, however, a call to the ministry’s spills line on Oct. 16 indicated further potential pollution, the spokesperson said by email last week.
While the culprit behind the pollution has also not been identified, the property management company responsible for the pond has “taken all appropriate response measures to ensure the risk has been mitigated.”
If identified, the person or persons responsible could be subject to penalties under the Environment Management Act: a fine of up to $1 million and/or up to six months in jail.
The rescued ducks were to start being released back to the wild last Wednesday.