Subject: Fw: CN Rail fined $2.5 million for spilling 90 litres diesel into North Saskatchewan River; What will Husky be fined for spilling 225,000 litres oil into it?
Date: Fri, 16 Jun 2017 11:35:32 -0600
From: Stewart Shields
Not only was the bitumen so very much larger- it also affected almost all of Northern Saskatchewan- thru the complete carelessness of Husky Petroleum’s who have yet to face any charges- for their part in this environmental disaster??
Stewart Shields, Lacombe AB
CN Rail fined $2.5 million for small North Saskatchewan River diesel spill by Jonny Wakefield, June 15, 2017, Edmonton Journal
Canadian National Rail has been fined $2.5 million for spilling a pickup tank’s worth of diesel into the North Saskatchewan River in 2015.
The company pleaded guilty in Edmonton provincial court Thursday to four offences related to the 90-litre spill, which left a smelly, two-kilometre sheen on the river.
The spill occurred at a train fuelling station in CN’s Bissell yard near 160 Street on April 9, 2015 , according to an agreed statement of facts.
A diesel-water mixture collected in a sump that forms part of the yard’s water treatment system made its way into a city storm drain, which flowed into the river from an outfall near the Quesnell Bridge.
Crown counsel Erin Eacott said the spill was a result of a miscommunication among CN employees, as well as the failure of monitoring systems meant to prevent hydrocarbons from entering waterways.
The river contains bull trout and lake sturgeon, which are both protected species, Eacott said. While the spill did not kill any fish, diesel is toxic even at low concentrations, and the spill likely led to developmental issues in some species.
The case was one of the first convictions under the updated federal Fisheries Act, which allows steeper penalties.
Before updates to the law in 2013, a summary conviction carried a maximum fine of $300,000. Now, corporations with more than $5 million in annual revenue face minimum fines of $100,000 for a first offence, and a maximum fine of $4 million. The minimum and maximum fines double if the accused has a prior record.
CN had been fined $1.4 million for a 2005 train derailment that spilled bunker oil into Wabamun Lake, 65 km west of Edmonton.
Daniel Smith, acting regional director for Environment Canada, said the hefty fine would help prevent future spills.
“It is a very significant fine, especially (considering) that we’re talking about potentially 90 litres of diesel fuel,” said Smith, who oversaw the investigation.
Defence counsel Nicholas Hughes said the company accepts responsibility for the spill. The fine was agreed to in a joint submission and imposed by Judge M.G. Allen.
The money will be paid into Environment Canada’s Environmental Damages Fund. The company has also been ordered to replace a two-kilometre fuel pipe that is not up to current regulations.
The fine is in addition to a $125,000 penalty the company received under provincial environmental protection laws earlier this month. [Emphasis added]
Husky could be fined $1M per day for Saskatchewan oil spill, Husky Energy promises co-operation with prosecutors on probe into last July’s oil spill by Jason Warick, March 23, 2017, CBC News
An investigation into a major oil spill in Saskatchewan last year has been handed over to Crown prosecutors.
Government officials said the investigation is not criminal, but could result in fines of up to $1 million per day for Husky Energy, the company at the centre of the spill.
“I am deeply concerned about this type of incident, and I think our actions today and going forward, I believe, show that we’ve taken this very seriously,” Energy and Resources Minister Dustin Duncan told reporters Thursday. [Showing that the regulator and govt took the spill (and Husky’s bad behaviour regarding it – notably hiding it initially), seriously would have been to shut all of Husky’s production and facilities down until the spill was completely cleaned up, and until Husky cleaned up what the company refuses to, and provided safe alternate water to all impacted communities including First Nations, instead of making the communities pay to find and pipeline in water from elsewhere]
Despite the budget cuts in many other ministries, Duncan noted $1.4 million has been earmarked for new regulatory measures for the resource sector. Pipeline companies will also now pay to help finance government regulation enforcement, he said.
Roughly 225,000 litres of oil leaked from a ruptured pipeline on July 20 and 21, 2016, near Maidstone, Sask. Much of it flowed into the North Saskatchewan River, prompting North Battleford, Prince Albert and other communities to find alternative drinking sources. [Why did the authorities in Canada and Saskatchewan not force Husky to provide water to the impacted communities? Just how “seriously” did the authorities help Husky get away with breaking the law, polluting the river, and harming many communities?]
“Husky’s response to the alarms has been extensively investigated and the details concerning their reasons for not shutting down the system are being reviewed by the Ministry of Justice,” said Doug MacKnight of the Ministry of the Economy. [Pathetic! His title ought to be Minister of Delay Delay Delay Delay (expert at allowing Husky to keep sucking money out of Canada and leaving taxpayers burdened with the endless harms)]
Husky takes responsibility: spokesperson [Really? Hogwash. If true, Husky would have immediately provided alternate water to the harmed communities and families.]
Husky will comply fully with the investigation, said company spokesperson Mel Duvall. [Pffffffffffffffft! No wonder! Delay and Cover-up Investigation suits Husky fine]
“Well, we’ll have to answer any questions that are put to us. We’ve co-operated fully all along. We respect the process that’s underway.” [Really? By lying and hiding the spill initially, and doing nothing initially, in an apparent attempt to reduce clean up costs by letting the spill get away on the company?]
Duvall said Husky takes full responsibility for the spill and is doing everything possible to remedy the situation. [Much too late for empty words now. How much bitumen sits on the bottom, never to be recovered, slowly oozing it’s toxics into aquatic life and communities drinking and bathing in the water?] He said information on the spill released by government officials Thursday is consistent with the company’s information. [Selective, to protect Husky and mislead the public?]
Husky’s response to the spill last summer has been questioned by many. Some wonder why the oil spill was not detected or stopped on the day it began.
MacKnight said the justice ministry review will be conducted “as quickly as possible,” but the file is large and technically complex. [Code for: “We will delay as long as it takes for the public to forget, and then, we’ll just quietly let the Big Oil Crime fade off into the sunset, as usual and as planned.]
The provincial government has submitted a bill for $1.1 million [Pathetic again — that’s likely only 1/100th the actual cost to the public and environment] to Husky for expenses incurred in 2016 on the cleanup, MacKnight said. [Emphasis added]
- Husky oil spill continues to affect cities’ drinking water
- University of Saskatchewan engineer says cause of Husky oil spill not a 1-time event
- Demand fires up for release of Husky pipeline inspection records
- Sask. government rejects privacy commissioner’s recommendation to release Husky pipeline records
- Cleanup of oil spill in Saskatchewan cost $107M, Husky Energy says
- Sask. Environmental Society demands fines against Husky for oil spill
Government’s timeline of the spill:
- Based on an analysis of the operating data, the investigators have concluded that the leak began on July 20, the day before the discovery of the spill.
- The pipeline’s dual alarm leak detection systems were issuing notices to the operators of potential problems prior to the spill and continued until the system was shut down for scheduled maintenance at 7:15 a.m. CST on July 21.
- Husky’s response to the alarms has been extensively investigated and the details concerning their reasons for not shutting down the system are being reviewed by the Ministry of Justice.
- The Government of Saskatchewan was first notified of the spill when a member of the public reported an oil slick on the river near the bridge. This call was received at approximately 8:30 a.m. on July 21.
- After obtaining additional information from the caller, two staff members from the Ministry of the Economy’s field office in Lloydminster were dispatched to the bridge at approximately 8:40 a.m. to investigate the source of the spill. They arrived on site at approximately 9:35 a.m. and confirmed there was a significant amount of oil on the river. The source of the oil was not immediately known and staff began a search of the area.
- Ministry staff also contacted Husky at 9:50 a.m. to advise it of the incident and ask if they had any knowledge of the spill. Husky confirmed that it had also received a report of oil on the river and staff were also looking for potential sources.
- At 10 a.m. Husky contacted the Ministry of the Economy to confirm the location of the incident at its crossing upstream of the bridge.
- The broader multi-agency provincial response was activated at that point with the Ministry of Environment formally assuming overall provincial lead for the response. The Ministry of the Economy staff shifted their focus to the immediate clean-up of oil on the right-of-way and the investigation of the cause of the break.
First Nations leaders in Saskatchewan are angry over a letter they received from Husky Energy…
2014: After paying 5 times maximum fine to escape criminal charges and finding it “could not develop the necessary techniques to drill and complete Collingwood wells…to obtain a favorable rate of return,” Encana leaving Michigan
Slide from Ernst presentations
Canadians – especially in the West – sell out their lives, health, families, communities, water, environment for nothing but a few puny bribes and toxic jobs