06/14/2013 02:38 EDT | Updated 08/14/2013 05:12 EDT

Kinder Morgan TransMountain Pipeline Spilled About 6 Barrels: NEB

MERRITT, B.C. - The National Energy Board says an oil spill that forced the shutdown of the Trans Mountain pipeline near Merritt, B.C., amounted to about six barrels.

That's just under 1,000 litres of oil — a small amount compared to the 300,000 barrels the pipeline ships each day, but still enough for environmentalists to highlight their concerns about Kinder Morgan's plans to vastly expand the pipeline's capacity.

Board spokeswoman Rebecca Taylor says the board will determine the exact amount of the spill during its investigation in the coming days.

Despite the small amount of oil leaked, Taylor says the board considers any release of oil as a serious incident.

Taylor says Kinder Morgan closed the pipeline immediately after the leak was discovered during routine maintenance Wednesday and has removed the contaminated soil from the area.

The board has the ability to keep the pipeline shut down until its safety concerns are satisfied, but Taylor says new regulations allowing the board to issue fines don't take into effect until July.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version, based on information from the National Energy Board, misstated the volume of oil spilled.

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