ca n we talk? . ................... Publisher Sue Hodgson talks with Iain Muir, Petro Barrier Systems assists in significantly reducing the risk of contaminating water systems due to oil spills, other hydrocarbon accidents and heavy metal contamination. You have a patent called MLM technology: a containment system equipped to filter urban runoff and contain large oil spills from entering the water system. How did the company arrive at this patent and how does this new technology work in the real world? Iain Muir, president of PBS spent a number of years as a consultant, working for an American firm
in the oil spill containment field. After discovering that the technology being used by this company to contain spills had some deficiencies when applied to Canadian applications, Muir spent two years refining and redeveloping the current technology which has been patented in both the U.S. and Canada. The technology has been adapted for use in a number of different applications including Floor Drain Filters for use in transformer vaults, Storm Drain Protectors for use in storm and sewer drains and Berm Barriers for large transformer sites and fuel stations. The patented technology is a mixture of various absorbent chemicals, in which the majority of hydrocarbon oils (gasoline, diesel, PCB’s and paint solvents) are removed and contained while allowing the water to continue to flow into the water system. Major oil spills around the world can be estimated to have released over 925,000 tonnes of oil into the marine environment, and stories about these horrendous types of spills are ubiquitous. Each year, it is estimated that 84,000 tonnes of oil products are released in North America through on-land human activity and enter the marine environment through runoff and other means, mainly through storm and sewer drains. In the 22 years the big spills cover, our on-land spills dripping from old cars, leaky equipment and general carelessness total 1,848,000 tonnes, or about double what the highly publicized offshore spills generated. Why do you think there is so little coverage of these “average” spills? It is because oil drops from vehicles and machinery is simply less sensational than a large oil spill. It is easier for people to see the devastation that a large spill creates on the environment, but not as easy to see the gradual devastating effects of hydrocarbon oil pollution as a result of urban runoff/human activity. What successes have you had in our community, whether with local businesses or local government that have embraced your technology with the concerted effort to make a difference in the environment?
SEASIDE TIMES | june 2012
On a municipal level, both Sidney and Colwood have been very pro-active in protecting storm drains from hydrocarbon pollution and in doing so have adopted or recommended the use of our technology for use in drains that are proximal to delicate ecosystems. Sidney was the first Municipality to protect their drains using our technology.
Published on Jun 1, 2012
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