Alberta residents angry after oil spills into nearby lake, Premier Alison Redford promises a full investigation

Alberta residents angry after oil spills into nearby lake, Premier Alison Redford promises a full investigation by CBC News, June 8, 2012
Shock and frustration are two feelings hanging heavily over residents living near an oil spill in central Alberta. … Cleanup crews are also working to contain the product that flowed into the nearby Gleniffer Lake and Reservoir, which feeds drinking water to several communities in the area. … “We don’t believe the release poses any potential threat to water quality and or residence,” he said, but added they will continue to monitor the situation. He said drinking water has been brought in for local resort operators. … But for local resident Chris Huhn it’s also a feeling of déjà vu as the exact area saw an oil spill of 125 barrels in April 2008. “I just hope this beautiful lake isn’t going to be wrecked with this terrible spill,” he said, adding many of his neighbours are concerned. Huhn was driving home around 11 p.m. Thursday after cultivating his field when he started to smell a strong odour in the air. He called the Energy Resource Conservation Board (ERCB) emergency hotline and was told there was an oil spill in the area. He said he was shocked and wonders how much of the Gleniffer Reservoir is contaminated — especially since the nearby Dickson Dam was left open until the morning after the spill. … “I know we need the oil, but at what cost,” he asked. “This is the drinking water for the City of Red Deer and we’re gambling with it.” The Dickson Dam near the Gleniffer Reservoir is now closed after an oil spill contamination. … Air quality and water quality are being monitored with help from Alberta Health Services and residents will be notified of any changes. … After the spill was discovered Thursday night, Plains’ pipeline operations in the area were shut down and valves were closed to isolate area pipelines. The ERCB, Alberta Environment and AHS are all involved in the cleanup effort. … Wildrose Environment Critic Joe Anglin said Friday the spill is further evidence that the current Alberta government has failed to effectively monitor and enforce industry regulations. “We have procedures and protocols in place to prevent these incidents from ever happening and this government is known for not properly following them,”

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