Janetville man named environmental hero

By Lisa Gervais, Lindsay Post Reporter

KAWARTHA LAKES – The city’s environmental hero of the year is a Janetville man who rushed to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last summer with his rapid oil containment (ROC) Barrier system.

Glenn Murray was given the award at council’s Tuesday meeting.

“I feel awesome,” he said on the lawn of City Hall before going in to officially collect his award. Inside, he added: “It makes me feel very good. I look forward to doing great things in the City of Kawartha Lakes.”

He said he had been taking the system to trade shows, recently had a photo opportunity with Premier Dalton McGuinty, Minister of Research and Innovation Glen Murray and Minister of the Environment, John Wilkinson and is soon headed to Ottawa to continue to pitch for financing for his product.

The same device won Murray a Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Development Corporation innovation award some months ago.

Murray is the general manager of Murrenhil Corp. His invention is basically a device for rapid response and containment of oil spills. The ROC Barrier uses a combination of a proprietary sorbent barrier and an easy-to-use deployment system that takes effect five times faster than anything now used. It comes in a compact package for use by watercraft owners, marinas, harbours, ports, shipping lanes, beaches and other water entry points. It absorbs only oil, not water, so oil can be reused.

According to the company website, the ROC Barrier deploys rapidly at speeds of up to 54.7 kilometres per hour after an oil spill. The beginning of the film laminate is tossed from the back of any small watercraft creating a barrier around the forming oil slick or spill. As the film laminate lands in the water, the friction of the water holds it in place. While the watercraft circles the perimeter of the oil spill, the film laminate continuously streams from the dispenser to immediately contain and prevent the spill from becoming a run-away slick. Murray says the oil finds the holes in the film laminate and it migrates to the inside of the tube, with the tube becoming ever more buoyant as it fills up.

When he headed to the Gulf last year, he was hoping to sell the product but figures he gave $20,000 to $30,000 of it away when touched my the human and wildlife tragedy, including a tribe of people living in the Bayou, the Atakapa-Ishak Native American Tribe.

“It changed my mindset totally. I went down there to do a job but my heart opened up. I thought I would be selling product and making a name for myself but I just started handing it out. It was enlightening.”

However, he has had sales success as well.

-lgervais@thepost.ca