The spill occurred Tuesday morning at a tank farm east of Vancouver that's part of the Trans Mountain pipeline system that moves Alberta tar sands crude to the West Coast for shipment on tankers.
In a statement, the company said the spill was contained, foam was spread over it to dissipate the odours that local residents complained about and the oil should be cleaned up by sometime Wednesday.
"We are monitoring for air quality in the area. The monitoring is indicating no health concern," the statement said.
The statement did not reveal the cause of the spill or how much oil had leaked.
Ben West of the Wilderness Committee said nearby residents phoned 911 and complained of headaches and nausea from the smell, while an elementary school kept its students inside all morning.
He said the incident demonstrates once again the danger of spills, pointing out it happened amidst public hearings into the Enbridge plan to build the Northern Gateway pipeline from Alberta to a tanker port at Kitimat, B.C.
"Here we are in the middle of high profile public hearings about the proposed Enbridge pipeline in northern BC, and yet Kinder Morgan has been allowed to move ahead with expansion plans without public consultation,” West said.
The Wilderness Committee is opposed to Kinder Morgan’s plans to expand the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline.