The clean-up continues from the oil pipeline leak on the North Saskatchewan River, and the impact it is having on communities is growing larger.
There are now 69,000 people impacted by changes to water supply or water advisories issued and those residents are from the cities of Prince Albert (P.A.), North Battleford, and Melfort and surrounding rural communities. That impact will go on “for some time”.
It is believed up to 250,000 litres spilled from the pipeline which was near the shoreline about 379 kilometres outside of P.A.
Environment officials believe less than 50 per cent has been cleaned up so far. No exact number is known because the oil is mixed with either water or sand during the process. 70,000 litres has been taken from the ground, a further 118,000 litres from skimming the water.
As per the rules for incidents like this, Husky is expected to file a initial report into what happened and has 90 days to file a final report.
The company, that has had a presence in Saskatchewan for about 80 years, is taking full responsibility for the leak – although how it happened won’t be known for some time.
“Investigations of this nature, typically take weeks or even months to fully understand all the causes,” explained Al Pate, with Husky, who is leading the recovery effort.
Husky states it will deal appropriately with its financial responsibility.
Fortunately there have been no reports of any illness as a result of the oil spill, but four birds, one fish and one frog have died as a result of the incident.
Flagging is in place to prevent wildlife from entering the spill site.