Alberta pipeline hit with another oil spill
Originally published by The Globe and Mail.
BY: NATHAN VANDERKLIPPE, The Globe and Mail
A large amount of oil has spilled from an Alberta pipeline into a creek, with an early estimate of 1,000 to 3,000 barrels leaking into a tributary of the Red Deer River, one of the province’s most important waterways.
Plains Midstream Canada said it was notified about the leak near Sundre, Alta. Thursday night. The leak is 160,000 to 475,000 litres in size, which was released into Jackson Creek. The company is dispatching aircraft to survey the damage, which local residents expect to be significant, with the Red Deer River currently flooding.
“I would expect that the vast majority of it will end up in the Red Deer River,” said Bruce Beattie, reeve of Mountain View County. “It’s a major concern.”
Following heavy rainfall in Alberta over recent days, the Red Deer River is flowing fast and wide, a fact that stands to exacerbate the effects of the spill.
Jackson Creek is located north, and downstream, of Sundre. The spill, however, is upstream of Red Deer, Alberta’s third-largest city, which is some 75 kilometres away.
With the Red Deer in “in significant flood, it won’t take long to be down the river for sure,” said Mr. Beattie.
The spilled oil is light sour crude. The pipeline was not operating at the time, and Plains did not detect the leak itself — a pattern that has reoccurred at numerous recent spills. The company was informed of the leak by the Sundre Petroleum Operators Group, a not-for-profit society established to help navigate issues between oil companies and residents.
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