07/11/2013 04:44 EDT | Updated 09/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Request submitted to Ottawa to pump oil out of sunken vessel off Newfoundland

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A Liberal MP says there's a proposal before the federal Treasury Board to have Ottawa pay a company to pump oil out of a sunken vessel that has been leaking off the north coast of Newfoundland for months.

Newfoundland MP Scott Simms says he has been assured by Environment Minister Peter Kent that a request for funding is in the works.

The Manolis L, a paper carrier, ran aground and sank off Change Islands in 1985.

An estimated 500 tonnes of oil and diesel fuel remain aboard the vessel, which is under 60 metres of water.

The Canadian Coast Guard tried to patch the vessel in late May, but it started leaking again earlier this month.

Simms says the cleanup has to happen before the weather turns foul.