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!

Sask’s oil regulator saw budget cut in June, not known when pipeline that spilled last inspected by D.C. Fraser, July 26, 2016, Regina Leader-Post

The 2016-17 provincial budget in June cut funding of provincial offices tasked with enforcing oil and gas development in Saskatchewan.

Government officials confirmed Monday that the Petroleum and Natural Gas branch, which serves as the province’s main energy regulator, had its “budget reduced due to a re-organization.”

The branch got $2.7 million less than the $14.2 million it received in 2015-16.

The province said the field staff complement has remained the same, but “we are unable to determine field office budget differences due to that organization.”

With about 118,000 kilometres of provincially regulated pipeline in the province, there is fewer than one inspector per 1,000 kilometres of pipeline. [Isn’t that how the oil and gas industry wants it?]

In Saskatchewan there are currently 24 pipeline inspectors who work out of field offices in Estevan, Swift Current, Kindersley and Lloydminster. Another three inspectors are located in Regina.

It remains unclear when the pipeline that leaked 200,000 litres of oil into the North Saskatchewan River was last inspected. The province said that, up until November, that data was kept by paper.

By late Monday afternoon, the province was unable to track that information down and provide it to media.

Government officials were able to confirm Monday that Husky Energy Inc., which owns the pipeline that leaked, had a required emergency response plan in place.

It is expected that the company would be filing its initial incident report with the province on Monday.

That report is expected to be made public. Husky had five days following the incident to file an initial incident notification, which offers a record of where it took place, when the leak was discovered, the surface water impacted and whether or not a reclamation report is required.

Up until November 2014, Husky was the largest active oil producer in Saskatchewan.

Government Relations Minister Jim Reiter said Monday time will tell if Husky followed all the proper procedures and that “I have no reason to believe that they wouldn’t have.”

Trent Wotherspoon, leader of the Opposition NDP, said many questions about the leak will have to be answered in the future, but that right now the priority should be on cleaning the spill up and ensuring communities affected have adequate and reliable drinking water.

Premier Brad Wall said last week, first and foremost, there was work to be done on the clean up and, “obviously this is not something anyone wants to see happen.”

He added it was important to point out that pipelines are “still the safest way to move oil” before answering questions about the impact spill would have on his goal of getting more pipelines approved by the federal government.

Those are the only public comments the premier has made about the spill, although government officials have been quick to offer information and have daily held briefings with the media since the spill occurred.

“I was a little surprised by the premier’s immediate response,” said University of Saskatchewan political scientist Charles Smith.

“His first response was to defend the oil industry and pipelines in general, which is politically not very astute, but also lacks general compassion.”

[Emphasis added]

Oil spills happening at a rate of about 2 per day in Saskatchewan: researcher
Rapid clean up key to recovery, says environmentalist by Danny Kerslake, July 27, 2016, CBC News
A researcher says oil spills are happening at a rate of about two per day in Saskatchewan.

University of Regina researcher Emily Eaton runs an independent website that tracks oil impact. Eaton said that there have been 8,000 spills in Saskatchewan since 2006 (about 17 per cent involved Husky Energy).

Smaller pipelines, she said, are the provincial government’s responsibility.

“The province should and could do a lot more,” said Eaton.

Eaton said the province does not have enough inspectors. [Would the oil industry allow reasonable and adequate inspection? Likely not. Profits roll in better when laws and regulations are not enforced.]

The reason most of the spills do not get the sort of attention this latest Husky Energy spill into the North Saskatchewan River is receiving, according to Eaton, is that they happen in the oil patch.

“A lot of these spills are smaller than this current one, the Husky one…they often spill into farmer’s fields in rural oil producing areas,” she said. [AND QUICK AND DIRTY SETTLE AND GAG ORDERS SUSH THE SPILLS UP AND KEEP THEM FROM THE PUBLIC]

“Many spills like this are happening everyday across the province without any awareness from the public.”

Province notified 14 hours after Husky discovered oil spill, incident report shows

Water restrictions continue in Prince Albert, Sask., after Husky Energy oil spill

While Eaton questions whether an oil spill can ever effectively be cleaned up, in the case of many of the spills in this province, industry fails to even go through the motions. [Why would they? Politicians and regulators enable the harms to escalate, never mind get remediated or compensated fairly] Eaton said she has spoken to a number of landowners about their experience with spills.

“A lot of them are very frustrated; some of them have been waiting for remediation and cleanup for decades sometimes.” [Rosebud’s aquifers remain explosively frac’d and contaminated, 12 years later, with nothing but lies, bully, rights violations and cover-up by regulators]

Eaton is not alone is casting a critical eye on oil spills.

Rapid cleanup key to recovery, says environmentalist

Peter Prebble with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society is focused squarely on this latest Husky Energy spill.

Prebble shudders at the idea of oil contaminating such a vital waterway.

“This mixture is acutely toxic,” he said.

“This can negatively impact wildlife. It can lead to reproductive failure, developmental deformities, behavioural impairment, immune function.

“I doubt very much that we are really getting the true picture of how wildlife is being impacted all along the North Saskatchewan River.”

Prebble is frustrated with the lack of public information about the spill coming from both Husky Energy and the provincial government, and hopes both are taking the clean up seriously. [Why would they? Accountability for harms by the oil and gas industry in Canada is near, if not below, zero. Regulators and politicians need to keep in that way, to ensure the companies remain content and grossly overpaid salaries and perks rolling in]

“It’s critical that it be removed from the surface as quickly as possible because it will tend to sink.”

Prebble believes that clean up must extend to hundreds of kilometres of shore line along the North Saskatchewan River, and is optimistic that if it is done correctly, the river can recover within a few years. [Emphasis added]


Husky oil cleanup will be bigger, longer than predicted, says Prince Albert mayor email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities and politicians, July 27, 2016

The Prince Albert Mayor is no fool, he can see no big effort to prevent the bitumen slurry spill from it’s eastern advancement toward Tobin Lake?? The real problem rests with Premier Brad Wall who should have reported the spill to the Canadian Coast guard and sought their input since the North Saskatchewan River is a major fish bearing stream!! It’s still not too late to call in the Canadian army to defend the purity of Lake Tobin, a favourite fishing lake in Northern Saskatchewan??After a week and we still are out of control from the eastward flow of this horrid spilled product is simply shameful, and Brad Wall must be questioned why professional help has not been sought to prevent the spill from advancing?? Bitumen is very much different from crude oil when cleaning it from a river is concerned!! Bitumen must be made into a slurry with lighter Hydrocarbons to enable it to be pumped, federal authorities have observed bitumen blow the surface of the water—that booms will never catch!! Once the Light ends evaporate from bitumen allowed to live on the water surface, the bitumen can fall below the water level—preventing booms that catch crude oil from any chance of success with bitumen. Remember the Kalamazoo River spill actually carried on for 6 years, and this is the same product Husky is dithering with in the North Saskatchewan!!

Stewart Shields

Husky oil cleanup will be bigger, longer than predicted, says Prince Albert mayor, City of Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne expects the oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River will take longer to clean up than predicted by CBC News, July 27, 2016

As the City of Prince Albert calls on Husky Energy to improve its response to the oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River, mayor Greg Dionne says he expects the cleanup will be bigger and longer than predicted.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Dionne said the current timeline for cleaning up more than 200,000 litres of Husky oil, which leaked from a pipeline near Maidstone, Sask., last week, was unrealistic.

30 km waterline from Prince Albert to South Sask. River won’t be ready until Friday
Husky clarifies timeline of North Saskatchewan River oil spill discovery

“I live in the real world and I do not believe — they claim in two months we should be back to normal,” he said.

“I don’t agree with that statement strictly because as of from today, we are 100 days away from our first freeze-up,” Dionne said.

“So I don’t know how they are going to clean that many shorelines and get all of that oil out of the water and off the shoreline in that short period of time.”
Prince Albert mayor Greg Dionne July 2016

Water woes

Strict water restrictions have been enforced in Prince Albert, Sask., about 140 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon.

The city, which is under a state of emergency, stopped drawing water from the North Saskatchewan River on Sunday as the oil slick from the Husky Energy pipeline spill approached the city.

Prince Albert, Sask., declares state of emergency over oil spill
Oil spills happening at a rate of about 2 per day in Saskatchewan: researcher

It is in the process of building a 30-kilometre waterline from the South Saskatchewan River to feed clean water to its treatment plant.

A provincial government agency is now providing about 95 litres of water a day to rural residents, whose water supply has been cut off completely.

Prevention is key

Dionne said last night his community needs to look for a permanent, long-term solution to protect the city’s water supply from future spills.

“I always felt when I got up in the morning and looked at the river that we’d never run out of water or have an issue, but now we do,” said Dionne.

City of Prince Albert to seek compensation for Husky oil leak response

“And so now we have to make, put guidelines and things into place [so] if it happens again, that we are ready.”

City manager Jim Toye told CBC Radio’s The Morning Edition on Wednesday he had been disappointed by Husky’s response to the pipeline leak.

Husky’s response

Toye said the company should have sent staff to Prince Albert and set up localized booms to reduce the impact on the city’s drinking water. Although Husky has installed booms at other locations, he said there were none near the city.

According to Toye, the company should have communicated better, saying the city only heard about the pipeline leak through media coverage.

Oil-drenched birds treated near site of Husky pipeline leak in Saskatchewan

“They really need to work on that relationship,” he said.

“We reached out to them yesterday to say ‘listen, we should have a chat here, this is a serious situation for not just Prince Albert, but everyone downstream from us, and upstream.'”

He said Husky had committed to improving the relationship on a conference call on Tuesday.

CBC has reached out to Husky Energy for a response. At time of publication the company had not responded to CBC’s request.  [Emphasis added]

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall calls Husky oil spill ‘terrible situation’
Premier says oil company will bear costs of cleanup after 250,000-litre spill by CBC News, July 27, 2016

The pipeline leak that spilled 250,000 litres of oil and solvent into the North Saskatchewan River, imperilling the drinking water of a number of communities, “is a terrible situation,” Premier Brad Wall said in addressing the media in Regina for the first time since the incident. [THEN WHY IS BRAD WALL DOING NOTHING ABOUT IT BUT TALK!?]

Wall said his top priority is the emergency response and ensuring people have access to drinking water following the spill earlier this month involving Husky Energy.

“This is not an optimal situation — it’s a terrible situation,” Wall said Wednesday morning at the Legislative Building.

Wall said that on Thursday, he plans to visit areas affected by the spill earlier this month. He added he’s concerned about the environmental impact of the spill, which sent a plume of oil and chemicals up to the river toward Prince Albert and other communities.

“You bet we’ll need to get a handle on what the ecological impact is on that river.” [NEEDING TO DOESN’T MEAN ANYONE WILL.]

What the government wants to see is the “complete restoration and rehabilitation” of the habitat and ecology of the river, he said. [WHY IS WALL NOT ORDERING THIS, INSTEAD OF YAMMERING ABOUT WANTS?  WANTING MEANS NOTHING TO OIL COMPANIES THAT POLLUTE DRINKING WATER]


Don’t just quote me about pipelines, Wall tells media

The spill near Maidstone put a quarter of a million litres of oil and solvent into the river on July 20 and 21. It has thrown a number of communities into crisis mode, threatening water supplies.

Wall spoke to the media about the spill while he was at a premiers conference in Whitehorse last week, but Wednesday marked the first time he spoke at length about it at home.

In recent years, Wall has emerged as an outspoken proponent of oil and gas pipelines in Canada, saying they generate jobs and are safe. [SOME LESSONS ARE PAINFUL TO LEARN, WHEN REALITY STRIKES, HARD AND WITH POISONED DRINKING WATER SUPPLIES.]

However, he told reporters Wednesday he’s reluctant to deal with that topic right now, out of concern the media will emphasize only that aspect of his remarks.

No ‘egregious error’ in Husky response, Wall says

Asked if he was “satisfied” with Husky’s response, Wall said that’s not the word he would use, but so far, he hasn’t seen any evidence that it has been mishandled.

“I can’t put my finger on any egregious error,” he said. [MR. ENABLER WALL?]

As communities struggle to arrange potable water supplies, Wall said he’s urging the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency to let communities know, as best they can, how long people will have to wait for full services to be restored.

“The government will be there,” he said. [WHY ISN’T THE GOVERNMENT ALREADY THERE?  WHY WAS IT THERE FROM DAY ONE?]

Husky pipeline oil leak detected 14 hours before Sask. government notified
by The Canadian Press, July 26, 2016, Global News

It appears Husky Energy knew something was amiss with one of its oil pipelines about 14 hours before the Saskatchewan government was notified.

An incident report says Husky discovered a pipeline leak on the south shore of the North Saskatchewan River around 8 p.m. last Wednesday.

The provincial government was notified of the spill near Maidstone, Sask., around 10:30 a.m. the next day.

Husky vice-president Al Pate says pipeline monitoring detected some irregularities Wednesday evening and crews were on site the next morning.

He says there will be an investigation into why it took so long, but the focus now is on cleanup.

Pate says the company is confident in its estimate that 200,000 to 250,000 litres spilled.

[Oil Company Management Reality Check:

2013 06 13: bP to Pay $175 Million to settle claims to US investors that “its managers lied about” size of 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill; Current Encana CEO Doug Suttles was one of those managers ]


The Truth The First Thing To Leave A Release Of Oil Or H2S !! email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities and politicians, July 26, 2016

Certainly we are not seeing crews attending to the pictures of slicks on the water, making questions of how many people are trying to contain this spill?? Media coverage of industrial spills is terribly important, we are now learning of pressure anomalies on the very lined that failed were reported 14 hrs. before the line was shut in?? This happens on almost every serious hydrocarbon spill or H2s release, and becomes caustic if synergy groups have replaced governmental regulators!! These inexperienced synergy groups will actually gamble with peoples lives to continue to hold the power stupidly given them by government regulators!! Any who experienced the March 12, 2003 Caroline Cover-up know all about false and misleading facts given by both the synergy group and how they were encouraged to lie by the government regulator!!

With the latest news of times and the failure of the operator to shut in the suspect line, we must also question closely the reported volume of product leaked?? There are many reasons for wanting the press totally involved in H2S releases and petroleum spills, good press will discover the truth if they are aware of how to question the operator in charge of the releases!! Enbridge paid mightily for the mistakes they made on the Kalamazoo bitumen slurry spill, Husky will have little sympathy other than from Brad Wall- for allowing a pressure anomaly that would indicate a pipeline problem to continue pumping for 14 long hrs.??

We are having a problem in Alberta getting proper coverage of oil spills for this spring and early summer that many have blamed on our NDP government. Most folks get totally disgusted fighting through the AER files that is a purposeful jungle to keep information from the owning public!! Our government in Alberta should insure the mass media are aware of petro-releases, to insure some semblance of the true is told—unlike the Shell “Caroline Cover-Up” of March 12. 2003!!

Stewart Shields

Sask. oil spill doesn’t pose immediate threat to Manitoba waterways: province North Saskatchewan River oil spill by CTV News Winnipeg, July 26, 2016

The Manitoba government says an oil spill in the Saskatchewan River is not posing an immediate threat to local waterways.

Still, Manitoba Sustainable Development is in discussions with town officials in The Pas, which uses the Saskatchewan River for drinking water.

The province says oil is expected to be contained in time to protect Manitoba waters, however the slow travel of the oil slick through eastern areas of the Saskatchewan River will give crews enough time to implement emergency plans if any cleanup is needed.

It was initially reported that the leak occurred on Thursday morning. But an incident report filed with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of the Economy says a “pipeline release” was discovered on the south shore of the North Saskatchewan River at 8 p.m. Wednesday. Close to 250,000 litres of oil leaked into the river near Maidstone, about 56 kilometres east of Lloydminster.

After the spill was reported, the pipeline, which transports blended heavy oil and diluent, was shut down.

Efforts are ongoing in Saskatchewan to capture oil with absorbent booms in six locations. [Emphasis added]

Husky shuts pipeline indefinitely after Saskatchewan oil spill by Rod Nickel and Nia Williams, Reuters, July 26, 2016, The Globe and Mail

Husky Energy Inc has indefinitely closed a pipeline that leaked oil into a major Canadian river, a company official said on Monday, as the spill forced a second city to stop drawing drinking water.

Heavy oil and diluent leaked from a 19-year-old pipeline in Husky’s Saskatchewan Gathering System on Thursday, flowing into the North Saskatchewan River, which supplies water to several communities in the western Canadian province.

The northern part of the system will remain down until Husky has “dealt with the crisis at hand,” said Husky executive Al Pate, adding the company was “deeply sorry.”

Canada’s federal environment department is investigating the incident, said spokeswoman Lo Cheng.

The oil reached Prince Albert, population 35,000, hours earlier than expected on Monday, widening the impact and cost of the spill. Workers there raced to stretch a 30-kilometre (19-mile) hose to draw drinking water from another source.

A sheen was visible on the river in the morning, spurring the city to shut its water treatment plant intake, said city manager Jim Toye. It has two days worth of stored water before it must find another source. [Companies haul massive volumes of potable water to intentionally contaminate and inject for frac’ing operations. Why hasn’t Husky rounding up all frac water hauling trucks to supply the impacted communities? Why hasn’t any regulators ordered the company to supply water?]

“We thought we had more time,” Toye said in an interview. “We (will) really hit the wall after two days.”

Less than half of the 1,572 leaked barrels of oil had been recovered as of Monday, Saskatchewan environment official Wes Kotyk said.

Upstream of Prince Albert, the city of North Battleford stopped drawing drinking water from the river last week.

Once Prince Albert’s stored water is exhausted, it hopes to use rainfall collected in a retention pond, buying itself four more days, Toye said. After that it would rely on water from a 12-inch (30 centimeter) diameter hose to the South Saskatchewan River, running along a highway.

Farms outside of Prince Albert that rely on city water have had supplies cut off.

“It’s a real nuisance. And for some it could become a real health issue,” said farmer Larry Fladager. “Can’t drink, can’t shower, can’t wash your clothes.” [Join the frac club!]

[Ernst has been living without safe water for over a decade after Encana illegally fractured the drinking water aquifers that supply her community. Where’s the back up plan? Where are the fines/punishments for the company and remedies for the harmed citizezns when law-violating companies like Encana contaminate a community’s drinking water supply? Will Brad Wall give Husky millions of taxpayers dollars to cover Husky’s losses because of the companies spill and shut-in pipeline? Will Husky be fined anything? Will Husky reimburse citizens for the lost royalties now contaminating community drinking water supplies?]

Prince Albert’s water plan covers two months, but Toye said its supply may be strained longer.

The cost will run into millions of dollars and the city is “very disappointed” by limited communication and assistance from Husky, Toye said.

Pate said Husky is in daily contact with communities and would cover unspecified costs.

He declined to say how the spill has affected production. [Emphasis added]

One of the comments:

Vic E 30 minutes ago

Humans are not the only life forms that depend on water. What about the aquatic life in that river, including the rare sturgeons that still exist in the South Saskatchewan River and likely exist in the northern river, too? What about the wildlife who come to drink from that river? What do they do to protect themselves from another human-caused disaster, all in the interests of chasing money? Ever tried to drink money?

All this destruction for diluted bitumen, a low-quality synthetic ‘oil’ that will never reach the value of sweeter light conventional crude. Now, even Saudi Arabia is looking for ways to wean itself off conventional fuel, even though it processes the best light crude in the world. Canada has wasted subsidies and political capital on this polluting crud for far too enough. Where are the demands from Canadian politicians that these types of leaks be stopped? Brad Wall likes to talk about ‘carbon capture & storage’, but where is his concern for these leaks … that also plague Alberta?

The company needs to be charged, and it should not be allowed to deduct court costs and clean-up costs from its income as tax deductions. Time to see the costs of pollution as real costs, not another ‘opportunity’ to create some jobs for clean-up. You can never really clean this crud out of the aquatic environment. It will sink to the bottom and create problems for a very long time. [Emphasis added]

Prince Albert declares state of emergency due to oil spill in North Saskatchewan River by Saskatoon StarPhoenix, July 25, 2016, Calgary Herald

Its water supply under threat after 200,000 litres of oil leaked into the North Saskatchewan River, the City of Prince Albert has declared a state of local emergency.

At a news conference on Monday morning, Mayor Greg Dionne said the state of emergency will allow the city to ask residents to do more to conserve water.

“It gives us quite a bit of power,” he said. “The main thing that we want to do is let people know that we do have a clean water supply. The water that we’re delivering to your door, you can drink, but we have to conserve.”

Dionne told reporters the city is now using its water reserve; as a result, residents are asked to hold off on tasks that require large amounts of water like doing laundry, watering lawns or washing cars.

He said the city is constructing a pipeline to carry clean water from the South Saskatchewan river to Prince Albert, and hoping it will be completed within a day or two. At normal usage levels, the city’s water reserve would last about 24 hours, he said.

“People understand that we’re in an emergency situation. We are building the pipeline as we speak. It’s about 14 kilometres out from our city and coming this direction. So hopefully we’ll have a supply that will be constant,” Dionne added.

“It’s being piped directly from the South Saskatchewan River right to our water treatment plant and we’re adjusting our in-flow above ground to feed the water into our plant.”

Residents are now prohibited from watering their lawns; violations may be subject to fines of $1,000 and repeat offenders may face additional penalties.

The state of emergency in Prince Albert comes about four days after the province confirmed oil from a Husky Energy pipeline located upstream of Maidstone breached on July 21, dumping oil into the North Saskatchewan.

The state of emergency also allows the city more access to both levels of government. Dionne said the city has also been communicating with Husky Energy.

Prince Albert is the second major community affected by the spill. On July 22, North Battleford shut down its water intake plant due to the spill, which at the time was downstream from the community.

The Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC) and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) are now demanding answers of Husky Energy Inc.

“There are some concerns (from) our elders, our leadership in Prince Albert, ’cause we’re down here by the river and we need some answers and those questions that we have, the answers are not coming,” PAGC Grand Chief Ron Michel said.

Michel, whose organization represents 12 First Nations in northern Saskatchewan, said he wants a meeting with Husky and the provincial government.

“We want to work with leadership in the province and also we want to work with industry, but yet they keep on hiding things like this from us,” he said.

“Things have to change. We’re not going to ever leave Saskatchewan. We’re here to stay and (these) kinds of things that are happening shouldn’t have happened.”

Dionne said he doesn’t expect enforcement of the state of emergency order will be an issue, as a lot of the water restrictions are common sense. He said the city will pursue compensation from Husky for costs associated with the spill and enforcement of the restrictions.

“Husky has assured us that they will make us whole,” he said. “They will compensate us for any costs that we have and that we incur — that is to date and that is moving forward.” [Time will tell if Husky is telling the truth]

Dionne said a representative from Husky will be on site to work with Prince Albert officials in the coming days. He said the clean water pipeline alone will cost “over $1 million,” and they hope to have it pumping before reserve water supplies run dry. He said the city is working on a secondary supply of water in case the pipeline needs repair.

“The deadline is to get it here tonight,” he said, saying the mood throughout the community is one of frustration, since many businesses like car washes and recreational centres that use a large amount of water have been temporarily shut down.

“Every two to three hours, the situation changes,” Dionne said. [Emphasis added]


Can Diluted Bitumen Ever Be Properly Contained With Booms?? email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities and politicians, July 24, 2016

I am delighted with CBC News who have kept coverage of this environmental hazard on going while other news media faltered!! This spill will bring many changes to pipelines near our fresh water streams. The scope of pipeline hearings is going to have to be greatly expanded to include locations hundreds of miles down stream!! I’m extremely disappointed that the moment Husky proved their booms could not contain the spilled bitumen that Saskatchewan did not call for federal help?? Simply herding this spill down steam until it either ends up on the river banks or at the bottom of the river bed is no way to behave!! With this spill on the Saskatchewan River and the similar type of bitumen spill on the Kalamazoo River, proving to be very very difficult to contain and recover, it is shameful that this spill could not have been used as a learning experience with Federal environmental folks also in attendance!! Now that appearances indicate this environmental hazard will traverse most of northern Saskatchewan we certainly must better consider allowing raw sour bitumen with diluents to cross the fast moving British Columbia Rivers? Now is a perfect time to review how our public owned petroleum products are managed in all provinces, and should petroleum resources be turned over to the larger federal authorities, for far better returns to the owning public??

Stewart Shields

If Bitumen cannot Be Contained In The Sask. River–Thank God For Those Fighting To Keep It Out Of B.C. Rivers!! email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities and politicians, July 24, 2016

This Saskatchewan bitumen spill is going to change many things about oil or especially bitumen pipelines that enter close to our fresh water rivers!! The scope of pipelines hearings must be widened to include towns and cities hundreds of miles down stream!! Who would have thought Prince Albert would be building a temporary pipeline to the South Saskatchewan River for water supplies, while and until the bitumen in the North Saskatchewan River spill passes on it’s way to Tobin Lake?? Other than the CBC the information being provided is very dismal indeed, with little if any comment from Sask. government officials or the guilty petro-operator, who are playing it close to their chest!!

One thing the huge Gulf spill taught us was to get good comment from the industry member long before they have given up on the clean-up!! I have raised many questions to both the Saskatchewan Government and the Operator that will never need answering, with our media demanding answers to questions of the same nature!! [Emphasis added]

Stewart Shields
Lacombe, Alberta

Prince Albert building a 30 km pipeline to bring cleaner water into the city, Pipeline will bring water from the South Saskatchewan River near Muskoday First Nation by Francois Biber, July 24, 2016, CBC News

Related Stories

A 30-kilometre pipeline will bring water from the South Saskatchewan River to Prince Albert’s water treatment plant as the city prepares for a plume of 200,000 litres of oil to pass by the city.

According to the city, a water pipeline, currently under construction, will be used to temporarily bring water from Muskoday First Nation, in a two-month plan to ensure Prince Albert residents continue to have access to clean, potable water. [Why do the people of Rosebud, Alberta not rate access to clean, potable water after Encana illegally fractured the community’s drinking water aquifers?]

On Sunday, officials in Prince Albert updated residents on the state of the city’s water situation after a Husky Energy oil pipeline leaked near Highway 21, about 300 metres from the North Saskatchewan River shore. The Ministry of Environment said the oil ended up surfacing on land and running into the river near Maidstone, Sask.

The pipeline will go along Highway 302 to Prince Albert city limits, following the riverbank and running along River Street to the raw water intake reservoir at the city’s water treatment plant.

About 10 kilometres of pipeline have been connected so far, and the city expects the remaining work to be complete early this week.

In the meantime, the city said it plans to shut down the intake to its water treatment plant when the plume of oil inches closer, to ensure no contaminants get in.

According to the city, Prince Albert’s water system has enough water to last until the end of the week, but that’s dependent on residents and businesses conserving water.

“Any non-essential use of water must cease and desist immediately. Residents are encouraged to minimize flushing water and shower usage,” said Jeff Da Silva, public works manager for the city said.

Prince Albert is preparing a water pipeline to feed its water treatment plant as a plume of oil is expected to flow by this week. (Jason Franson/Canadian Press)

Heavy water users, such as car washes and laundromats, will be asked to temporarily close. City irrigation services, paddling pools and the Kinsmen Water Park are also all shut down.

A special city council meeting has been called for Monday afternoon, to enact a bylaw restricting water usage by businesses and residents. Officials said the North Saskatchewan River is not safe for swimming or recreational use.

Starting Monday residents can call (306) 953-4305 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required, to speak with city representatives about any questions or concerns.

The course of the North Saskatchewan River, highlighted from Maidstone eastwards. A leak from a Husky Energy pipeline near Maidstone led to some 200,000 litres of heavy oil entering the river Thursday. (CBC)

On Thursday, July 21, Husky Energy reported a break in its pipeline near Highway 21. A spokesperson said the ensuing spill was the equivalent of about two railcars’ worth of oil. According to Husky, some of that heavy oil, which is mixed with a thinning chemical, then leaked into the North Saskatchewan River.

The company said it shut the pipelines, which are part of its Saskatchewan gathering system, to halt the release of any more oil.

North Saskatchewan River cleanup to retrieve equivalent of 2 railcars of Husky oil

On Sunday a government spokesperson said roughly 100 cubic metres of product have been recovered from land- and water-skimming containment efforts. Work continues on managing and maintaining booms at five location along the North Saskatchewan River, including a boom at the Paynton ferry river crossing, two at North Battleford and one near Maymont.

Observers along the river reported seeing little evidence of surface oil at the Paynton ferry crossing.

The government said it’s too soon to predict if the plume will make it to Manitoba, but based on the collection of oil at the booms, they expect the plume to diminish as it continues down the river.

Saskatchewan city to extract water from another river due to oil spill by The Canadian Press, July 24, 2016, The Globe and Mail

Provincial officials in Saskatchewan say a riverside city whose water supply is threatened by an oil pipeline spill is building a hose dozens of kilometres long, to draw water from another river.

Sam Ferris with Saskatchewan’s water security agency said Prince Albert is constructing a line with irrigation pipe along the ground to a spot on the South Saskatchewan River near the Muskoday First Nation, between 20 and 30 kilometres away.

The city of more than 35,000 people has been preparing to shut its regular water intakes on the North Saskatchewan River following a spill upstream of between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of crude oil and other material at a Husky Energy Pipeline near Maidstone, Sask.

Prince Albert has a few days worth of water stored in reservoirs and has also been preparing to treat water from its stormwater retention ponds while oil from Thursday’s spill flows past.

Wes Kotyk with Saskatchewan’s environmental protection branch said officials don’t know how long that could take, since the plume of the spill has broken up and slicks can get hung up on bends and take time to move along the river.

North Battleford, which is further upstream , shut off its water supply intakes on Friday and is now relying on a limited supply from wells.

“It might have to serve for some time. We don’t know how long the event will endure,” Mr. Ferris said during a media conference Sunday about the water pipeline Prince Albert is building. “It won’t work in Saskatchewan in the winter time, I can guarantee you that.

“I hope this is over well before then.”

Prince Albert’s city manager, Jim Toye, said the water line will be functioning later this week and will utilize 30 pumps, each with 400 horsepower. “We understand the water situation could be as long as two months,” Mr. Toye said Sunday.

North Battleford has imposed strict water-use restrictions and Mr. Toye said Prince Albert’s council will pass its own restrictions on Monday.

The oil pipeline that leaked runs from Husky’s heavy oil operations to its facilities in Lloydminster, Alta., and carries oil mixed with a lighter hydrocarbon that’s added to ease the flow.

Mr. Kotyk said Sunday that three birds are confirmed to have been affected by the spill. He said Husky has established a program for recovery with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan.

Jan Shadick of Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation said three birds were brought to them on Saturday coated in oil. She said one died and the other two are recovering. “For me, part of the concern, is that as the oil moves, we’re going to end up finding more oiled wildlife downstream. So the potential for this to continue is certainly present,” Ms. Shadick told CJWW radio.

Bert West with the petroleum and natural gas branch of the province’s economy ministry said Saturday there’s no word yet on what caused the leak or the size of the breach. Containment booms to capture the oil were set at five locations downstream from the spill, Mr. Kotyk said.

Mr. Kotyk said hospitals in North Battleford and Prince Albert are preparing to truck in water to replenish their own reservoirs, which are typically only for emergency use.

The province also advises people to avoid recreational contact with the water where the oil plume has passed, and mr. Kotyk said fishing in the affected parts of the river is not advisable. [Emphasis added]

PA building 20km-long drinking water pipeline as oil slick approaches: cleanup of 200,000L-plus spill continues by Jason Warick, July 24, 2016, Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Prince Albert officials have ordered construction of a 20 to 30 kilometre temporary drinking water pipeline as a massive oil slick on the North Saskatchewan River approaches the city.

“They’ve done an admirable job (of planning),” Saskatchewan Water Security Agency’s Same Ferris told reporters Sunday. “It’s a temporary installation.”

Residents of both cities are advised to use water sparingly until the regular water treatment capacity is restored. It’s unclear exactly how long that will be, officials said.

“Water conservation is very important in this situation,” Ferris said.

The city of North Battleford has already shut off its river intake and is drawing its drinking water from other sources. On Sunday, P.A. had not yet shut off its water intake from the North Saskatchewan River, as tests came back clean. That could change when the oil arrives late Sunday or early Monday.

Nearly half the 200-250,000 litre-spill has been recovered, and five river barriers are designed to continue capturing whatever remains on the river’s surface, said Wes Kotyk of Saskatchewan’s Environment Ministry.

Kotyk says it’s unclear how much of the oil can eventually be recovered. He said the churning current and unique magnitude of the spill make predictions difficult.

“This is a rare event,” he said.

Husky Energy said they’ve identified three birds impacted by the spill. He said the company is working with a provincial wildlife organization to identify and help any impacted wildlife.

The cost of cleanup, and any potential impact on the economy, is also unclear, said Bert West of the Ministry of Economy.

“That is something we can’t tell until it’s done,” West said. “Our focus is on the situation.”

Thursday’s rupture of a Husky Energy pipeline near the town of Maidstone occurred roughly 600 metres from the bank of the North Saskatchewan River. Saskatchewan government officials say it was Husky staff that detected the spill before the oil slick was observed on the river.

Berms were erected to minimize oil flow into the river, but more than 200,000 litres had already leaked. Cleanup of the pools of ground surface oil is now complete, and digging up contaminated soil is underway.

The priority is on the oil in the river, as municipal filtration systems do not typically address oil pollution, they said.

A river barrier was erected at Paynton upstream from the Battlefords but failed. It is being rebuilt and another is under construction just downstream from the Battlefords. The oil slick has reached the Borden Bridge and is expected to reach Prince Albert by late Sunday or early Monday.

Cumberland House Cree Nation and adjacent town residents are also preparing emergency plans further downstream, they said. [Emphasis added]


What Is Saskatchewan’s Policy On Petroleum Product Lost By Industry Prior To Royalty Collection?? email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities and politicians, July 24, 2016

Again CBC certainly must be saluted for taking the spill story to the Canadian public!! When most media outlets would benefit from hushing–up about the failure of the petro industry at handling bitumen spills, our public broadcaster is on the job for the information the public are entitled to!! Industry will never know or admit damage to wild life, it is not in their best interest to do so!! In Alberta where the industry own it’s own regulator, public owned petroleum property lost in pipeline spills and burnt in well blow-outs is simply stuck off the books, but not so in United States where industry had to pay for the giant spill in the Gulf and just agreed to a $177 million fine on a very very similar bitumen spill on the Kalamazoo River!! What is Saskatchewan’s policy on publicly owned petroleum properties either lost or burnt before royalties are satisfied?? Are the Public expected to suffer the loss, while the industry claim insurances on their misfortune?? [Emphasis added]

Stewart Shields

Oil-drenched birds treated near site of Husky pipeline leak in Saskatchewan
1 bird has died, 2 two more are being treated by Alicia Bridges, July 24, 2016, CBC News

hree birds drenched in oil have been brought in for treatment at an animal shelter near the site of a pipeline leak that spilled 200,000 litres of oil and chemicals into the North Saskatchewan River on Thursday.

One of the birds, a sparrow, died. A Canada goose and a great blue heron are still being treated.

Wildlife rehabilitation workers travelled from Saskatoon on Saturday to help the Lend A Paw Animal Rescue, which has set up a triage station at a kennel in Maidstone, Sask., about 220 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.
Drifting downstream

An oil plume is travelling down the river after a pipeline break in the area, reported by Husky Energy on Thursday. Containment booms have been set up in several locations downstream of the spill, but one has reportedly breached.

Jan Shadick, from Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation in Saskatoon, said the oily substance covering the birds was extremely thick and bitumen-like.

“They are completely still covered. We have to get fluids in them and food and stabilize them before we can begin the washing process,” she said.

She said that would involve using a mineral oil to wash the birds before rinsing them.

Shadick expects to find out if there are more birds that need treatment, saying a contractor for Husky Energy will be searching in the field.

‘Overwhelmingly sad’

Great blue heron oil spill Maidstone, Saskatchewan

Shadick said treating the birds that have been recovered, and the possibility of many more birds needing treatment, filled her with “great sadness.”

“For me, it’s just really overwhelmingly sad to see these birds drenched in this black oil and know that I have to wait to wash them and do something about it. And to just see the struggle, I guess, in their eyes,” she said.

“Perhaps it’s the potential that there are hundreds and hundreds of them and my, at the moment, sense of helplessness at [not] being able to fix it immediately.”

Cleanup continues

Husky Energy said in an email on Saturday afternoon there had been no reports of impacts to wildlife or aquatic life at that time. [Is Husky Lying?]

It said the cleanup at the site of the leak was nearing completion and that a thorough investigation would take place.

“While containment has been challenged by high water levels and resulting floating debris, recovery operations continue,” Husky Energy spokesman Mel Duvall said, adding that “additional actions” were being implemented.

CBC News has requested more information from the company on Sunday. [Emphasis added]

[Oil soaked reality check:

2016 07 13: Why Do We Pretend to Clean Up Ocean Oil Spills? Many scientists describe such efforts as ‘prime-time theatre.’ Yet the farce continues ]


Herding The Oil Spill Hundreds Of Miles Downstream!! email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities and politicians, July 24, 2016

Is the oil flowing below the water level because of high water conditions, or is the below water flow due to light ends evaporating–leaving the bitumen and thus allowing the heavy muck to flow below the water mark?? This event seems to again point out the uselessness of allowing petroleum resources to be owned and managed by the provincial districts that it is found in!! Appearances would indicate the operators are simply herding the oil downstream to Tobin Lake where they will declare their duty is complete!! If operators can’t contain bitumen in rivers going through the prairies, they had better steer clear of British Columbia!! Water speeds in British Columbia are much faster than what Husky will experience in Saskatchewan!! There is a lot that should be learnt from this spill that will certainly be ignored if only the Saskatchewan Province is involved in gaining back the 250,000 liters of product lost to the Saskatchewan River.What Happens with Provincial Royalties if very little of the spill is ever recovered?? Certainly this spill has already proved the uselessness of booms on fast moving streams!! Perhaps rivers should be surveyed for the most advantageous spots for oil collection and permanent anchors installed!! Once the plume passes Prince Albert, is Nipawin and the bottom of Tobin lake it’s final place of rest?? This spill must delight regulators in British Columbia who have watch in horror as a bitumen with diluents travels hundreds of miles down the major river in the prairies !!Where is the Canadian Army?? O how lucky British Columbia really is

Stewart Shields

WARNING: Oil flowing our way by Tyler Clarke, July 22, 2016, Prince Albert Herald

All eyes on Prince Albert’s stretch of the North Saskatchewan River, on which oil is expected to flow this weekend as a result of a Husky Energy pipeline leak near Maidstone, Sask.

Plume of oil is expected to reach Prince Albert by Sunday or Monday

Stock up on water on Saturday and begin running the taps sparingly by Sunday morning, city manager Jim Toye urged City of Prince Albert water users on Friday.

It is “highly likely” the City of Prince Albert will shut down the water treatment plant’s North Saskatchewan River water intake on Sunday as a precautionary measure.

A Husky Energy pipeline near Maidstone, Sask., forced the closure of the City of North Battleford’s water intake plant on Friday, and it’s flowing our way.

It’s not clear how much oil is in the river or how greatly it might affect the water intake at Prince Albert, but Toye has his concerns.

While oil or hydrocarbons typically stay on top of the water, a metre of extra water due to Alberta rains is cascading the water under the surface.

“That is an issue for us — that is definitely an issue for us — because our inlet for the Water Treatment plant is below,” Toye explained.

“We can’t get oil in our water treatment system; that compromises our water treatment system.”

The plume of oil is expected to reach Prince Albert by Sunday or Monday.

With too many uncertainties in the mix, Toye is urging city water users to stock up on water until 8 a.m. on Sunday and to begin limiting their water intake thereafter.

In the event the City of Prince Albert is forced to shut down its water treatment plant intake, there’s only about two day’s worth of water stored in the system.

The City of Prince Albert has applied for federal funding toward expanding their water retention capacity, but they’re not there yet.

A contingency plan is being formulated to prepare for a long-term plan if it becomes necessary.

The City of Prince Albert will continue monitoring the situation over the weekend and will provide updates online, at [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

“God We’re Dumb!!” Enbridge to pay $177 million for 2010 USA pipeline spills. What does Encana pay for illegally frac’ing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers in 2004? Nothing. Does the government, AER & Alberta Environment stop Encana from fracing fresh water zones after contaminating the community’s drinking water supply? No. ]

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