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Environmental damage expected to be minor after barge tips vehicles in Victoria

VICTORIA — British Columbia's environment ministry says it expects the ecological damage to be minor after a barge tipped and dumped scrap cars into Victoria's inner harbour.

Emergency program director Graham Knox says regulations require fuel to be removed from vehicles before loading but it's impossible to clean them completely.

He says a sheen of hydrocarbons can be seen in the water but a large boom has been wrapped around the accident site to contain the fuel.

Knox says the U.S. company that recycles the cars, Schnitzer Steel, is responsible for clean-up and has hired the Western Canada Marine Response Corporation.

He says an assessment could take days but all the debris will need to be removed from the water because it can pose an entangling risk to wildlife and displace habitat.

It's not yet known what caused the barge to tilt and spill at least 20 scrap vehicles into the water on Friday afternoon.

The Canadian Press

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