After paying $1.6 million fine, ExxonMobil to pay $12 million settlement to Montana, US for oil spill affecting 85 miles of Yellowstone River. What will Husky Pay for spill affecting over 300 miles of river in Canada? Nothing, as usual? After treating spill-poisoned James Smith Cree Nation abysmally, Husky’s oil-sniffing dogs find evidence of oil, then Husky quickly compensates (and gags?) James Bay Cree First Nation

Husky Energy compensates Saskatchewan First Nation for oil spill by The Canadian Press, October 3, 2016, The Calgary Herald

A Saskatchewan First Nation has received compensation from Husky Energy due to damage from its oil spill in July.

Husky spokesman Mel Duvall says the James Bay Cree First Nation has been given money, but he wouldn’t say how much.

Duvall says Husky had oil-sniffing dogs working last week along the North Saskatchewan River and they did find evidence of oil.

The First Nation, about 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert, had ordered residents to not swim, hunt, fish or gather along the Saskatchewan River after oil showed up Aug. 21.

Up to 250,000 litres of oil mixed with a lighter hydrocarbon was detected leaking from Husky’s pipeline into the river near Maidstone, Sask., on July 21.

Several cities which take their drinking water from the river were told two weeks ago that water from the river was safe to use. [But, what’s in the water? Has Husky fully disclosed their toxic chemicals leaked into the river yet?]

North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort had to shut off their intakes and find alternate water sources after the oil spill.

Almost 150 animals were found dead, mostly fish and small mammals.

It’s still not clear what caused the spill. [Or, Husky and Brad Wall don’t want the public to know?] The government has said a full investigation is expected to conclude this month.

“Nobody ever thought we’d have a disaster on the river. Dealing with this, it’s going to have a long-term effect. Husky has to be here, not only this year, next year (but) years to come,” said Chief Wally Burns. [Husky is required to appropriately plan for disasters in planning projects, and have emergency plans in place to deal with spills efficiently before projects are built and before so much harmed is caused. Emphasis added]

New river water tests from North Saskatchewan show more contamination after Husky oil spill, Latest results show new water contamination, no plans to shut off water treatment plants again by David Shield, September 22, 2016, CBC News

A new water sample from the North Saskatchewan River has exceeded drinking water guidelines.

The water sample, taken near Prince Albert, Sask. found Benzo(a)Pyrene, a carcinogen that can be found in everything from car exhaust to coal tar. The last time a water sample exceeded guidelines was in August. Only two samples have exceeded the drinking water guidelines since testing began.

In July, a Husky Energy pipeline near Maidstone leaked up to 250,000 litres of oil into the river.  Since then, a working group has been trying to remove the oil from the water as well as contaminated silt from the riverbanks. As of last week, the province estimated 88 per cent of the oil had been cleaned up.

Last week, the Water Security Agency (WSA) gave North Battleford and Prince Albert permission to start drawing drinking water from the North Saskatchewan River once again.

However, the WSA said the new contaminated water test will not impact plans to get the plants up and running again.

“(The oil) is attaching to sediments,” said agency spokesperson Patrick Boyle. “So, the water treatment plant can efficiently remove the oil because it’s attaching to the sediments and essentially doing what the plant is designed to do.” [What’s that? Harper science?]

The tests also showed two new samples that exceeded aquatic life guidelines, bringing the number to 22.

As well, 28 more samples of sediment were found to exceed guidelines.

Those guidelines are meant to protect organisms that live on the bottom of the river, and are an integral part of the aquatic food chain.

Ultimately, the results aren’t shocking to the agency.

“I don’t think anything we’ve seen here is a surprise to us right now based on the testing that we’ve seen so far,” said Boyle. “It’s something that we’re continuing to watch.” [Isn’t that what all good oil pollution enablers say?]

The previous time the province issued a water report was September 9, 2016. The next tests are scheduled for late September/early October.

Water OK: Oil-spill cities can open intakes on North Saskatchewan River by The Canadian Press, September 16th 2016, National Observer

Communities affected by an oil spill into the North Saskatchewan River are being told it’s OK to start using the water again. [But, don’t breath while showering or taking a bath or sipping you coffee?]

Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency says the cities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort can resume taking water from the river.

The cities had to shut off their intakes and find alternate water sources after the oil plume from a Husky Energy (TSE:HSE) pipeline spill moved downstream.

Up to 250,000 litres of oil mixed with a lighter hydrocarbon leaked into the river near Maidstone, Sask., in July.

The water agency says about 88 per cent of the oil has been recovered and there is no significant health risk once the water is treated. [OK to poison residents a little bit, every day?]

The agency recommends municipalities collect samples of treated water to test for petroleum components before the water is distributed to users.

It also says they should adjust their water treatment to address current river conditions and advise users of a potential change in water quality.

Restrictions on livestock watering and recreational activities on the river have also been removed. The cities had already lifted municipal restrictions that were in place for several weeks after the spill to conserve water.

The agency says the oil spill’s impact on aquatic life and wildlife is still being reviewed. Almost 150 animals were found dead, mostly fish and small mammals.

It’s still not clear what caused the spill. The government has said a full investigation is expected to conclude next month. [Emphasis added]


ExxonMobil to pay $12 million in Montana oil spill settlement by Laura Zuckerman, September 21, 2016, Reuters
ExxonMobil Corp. has agreed to pay $12 million to Montana and the U.S. government to restore natural resources damaged or destroyed by a pipeline rupture in 2011 that spilled oil into the Yellowstone River, according to a settlement proposed on Wednesday.

ExxonMobil Pipeline Company’s Silvertip pipeline burst July 1, 2011 at a crossing beneath the flood-swollen Yellowstone River near Billings, Montana, about 150 miles (241 km) downstream from Yellowstone National Park.

The release of 1,500 barrels of crude oil affected 85 miles of a river known for its near pristine waters, wealth of wildlife and world-class fisheries. [Husky impacted over 300 miles of the North Saskatchewan River!]

Under the agreement unveiled Wednesday, funds from Exxon would be used to mitigate harm caused by the spill to fish, wildlife, migratory birds and aquatic habitat.

A restoration plan drafted by the state and federal governments would, among other things, seek to restore riparian and terrestrial habitats, stabilize river banks and expand fishing access in and around the river.

The deal struck between the Texas-based oil company and Montana, the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies still must be approved by a U.S. District Court judge in Montana and is subject to 30 days of public comment, legal documents show.

The settlement and proposed restoration plan follow a years-long assessment of damages from the pipeline leak to the river and its floodplains.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox hailed the agreement for holding Exxon accountable and helping to make whole a state that boasts a $6 billion outdoor economy.

But Alexis Bonogofsky, whose pastures along the Yellowstone River were fouled five years ago by oil-tainted water said she was disappointed by the size of the settlement.

“I’m sorry, but $12 million is a drop in the bucket for ExxonMobil and doesn’t teach them anything about accountability,” she said.

Exxon spokeswoman Ashley Smith Alemayehu said the company was sorry for the accident.

“We regret this spill happened and are committed to learning from it to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future,” she said in a statement.

Under a 2012 deal between Exxon and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, the oil company paid a fine of $1.6 million in connection with the spill, the largest penalty ever levied in the state for violations of its water quality regulations.

The same year, Exxon estimated its overall response to the spill, including cleanup, would cost $135 million and said it had reached compensation agreements with more than 95 percent of affected property owners. [All with gag orders? Emphasis added]

(Reporting by Laura Zuckerman in Salmon, Idaho and Tim Ahmann in Washington; Additional writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Sharon Bernstein and Alan Crosby)

[Refer also to:

2016 09 09: Authorities still don’t know what caused Husky’s spill into N Saskatchewan River, or, don’t they want to let the harmed families and communities, and public know? Did Husky intentionally delay responding to the leak knowing the bitumen would sink, Intentionally delay to make nature carry the pollution burden?

That’s some water regulator Brad Wall has! Leaning on “hope” that water intakes shuttered by Husky’s secret chemical additive and bitumen spill reopen before winter; Response to massive Husky spill leaves Saskatchewan university professor concerned. “Was the cover-up good for you too?” Husky treats spill-poisoned James Smith Cree Nation abysmally.

Oil on and in the water: Husky’s toxic bitumen and chemical additive spill into drinking water of tens of thousands of Saskatchewan residents has many wondering if a similar disaster could strike Alberta. Why? It already has, repeatedly, with impacted Albertans living with and drinking the contaminated water

Livestock water supplies still a concern after oil spill, City of Prince Albert seeking millions from Husky. Hydrocarbons found in more water samples after Husky bitumen and diluent spill. Next Step? Deregulate Drinking Water Guidelines to meet Husky’s hydrocarbon pollution in the North Saskatchewan River?

Only in Canada! Wanna bet Husky gets fined nothing for contaminating North Saskatchewan River, drinking water of 70,000 Canadians, and misrepresenting its toxic bitumen & diluent spill?

Water undrinkable in parts of North Saskatchewan River after bitumen, diluent spill, samples reveal. Husky off the hook? Saskatchewan government “unlikely” to clean all of the spill. Have the chemicals Husky spilled with the bitumen been disclosed yet? Are samplers testing for them and are they sampling the river bottom?

Husky kills summer fun and is already prepping to evade clean-up of toxic bitumen and chemical spill in N. Saskatchewan River: “Nature’s gonna fix it so we don’t have to.” Is that a certified oil spill response?

Husky’s bitumen & chemical spill contaminating drinking water for 70,000 people (so far) in Saskatchewan. “Other than sharing ways to hide, alter, or destroy evidence to protect the guilty, how would the NEB help?”

How are you enjoying life without water so far? Welcome to Ernst’s world, ten years in. Husky’s toxic bitumen-chemical spill traveled 500 km (so far) in North Saskatchewan River contaminating drinking water supply to many, four communities declare state of emergency

Join the Frac Club! Deregulation budget-cut style? “It’s a real nuisance. And for some it could become a real health issue. … Can’t drink, can’t shower, can’t wash your clothes.” Prince Albert declares state of emergency; constructs 30 km long drinking water pipeline as Husky’s massive toxic bitumen & diluent slick invades. Who pays for the damages? Saskatchewan averages two oil spills a day, just like Alberta! ]

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