Clean-up Continues after Pipeline Spill

Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 02:05 PM gHale

One month after crude oil leaked from an Inter Pipeline spill in Strathcona County, Alberta, Canada, from the company’s Cold Lake pipeline April 21, clean-up crews are continuing their repair efforts.

The crude oil spilled into an unnamed creek located near 17th Street and Baseline Road, which flows into the North Saskatchewan River.

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The initial estimate for the volume released was 141,000 liters (about 37,250 gallons), which almost all has been cleaned up. The spill also ended up stopped before reaching the river.

“It’s pretty much all recovered at this point, and clean up and remediation work continues on site. As does the work to repair the actual section of pipe itself,” said Breanne Oliver, manager of corporate communications with Inter Pipeline.

Crews and equipment are fully mobilized on-site 24/7, and site remediation is being conducted in compliance with regulatory requirements and company environmental policies and procedures. Air quality, water quality and environmental monitoring are underway.

“Our staff does continue to monitor the incident response and the company’s clean-up activities to make sure that all safety and environmental requirements are met during the response from the incident,” said Monica Hermary, spokesperson with the Alberta Energy Regulator.

“The clean up will be on-going for quite some time, because there is the removal of soil from site, and replacement and the like,” Oliver said. “So, these things do take quite a bit of time to make sure they are done properly. We look to meet or exceed those regulatory requirements in situations like this.”

Excluding the segment of pipeline involved in the incident, Inter Pipeline’s Cold Lake system remains operational with all crude oil volumes transported to other delivery point locations.

Additionally, at the time the incident occurred, three other companies — including Imperial Oil, Pembina Pipeline and Gibson Energy — shut in and de-pressurized their pipelines until the line responsible for the leak was discovered. All three companies have since continued their operations.

Despite cleanup and remediation being ongoing, the spill did have a cost to local wildlife.

“We are saddened to report that a magpie perished at the site of the release, while a muskrat and a beaver were taken to a rehabilitation center. Unfortunately, the beaver passed away, while the muskrat was successfully rehabilitated and has since been relocated,” Inter Pipeline said in a statement.

An investigation into the cause of the spill is currently underway.

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