Questions persist after oil spill at Nova Scotia Power generating station

An environmental activist says a Halifax harbour oil spill might be a good opportunity for Nova Scotia Power to reconsider its use of crude oil.

It could be weeks before crews clean up about 5,000 litres of oil at the Tufts Cove generating station, and Ecology Action Centre policy director Mark Butler says he has questions about how the oil spilled and why it seemingly took so long to be discovered.

Butler said several thousand litres of viscous oil - discovered last week to be pouring from a leaky pipe connecting storage tanks to the generating station - would have taken a while to leak from a hole the size of a thumb-tip.

The spill was mostly contained within a day of its discovery, and while Butler expressed relief that the ecological impact of the spill is not severe, he says the oil involved is ``dirtier'' than natural gas and could be dangerous to sea birds.

Nova Scotia Power spokesperson David Rodenhiser says a crew of around 60 people were working diligently over the long weekend to clean up the oil.

He says the utility is investigating what caused the hole and what measures can be taken to prevent future accidents.