Is this enough? Saskatchewan city of Prince Albert gets $5M from Husky for oil spill cleanup by Jennifer Graham, The Canadian Press, August 15, 2016, Calgary Herald
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. – A city that was forced to close its water intakes after an oil spill on the North Saskatchewan River has received a $5-million payment from Husky Energy.
The city of Prince Albert says the initial payment will help cover direct costs and indirect losses due to a pipeline leak that spilled up to 250,000 litres of oil mixed with a lighter hydrocarbon into the river near Maidstone, Sask., in July.
The city was left scrambling to find other water sources and footed the bill for two temporary water lines to serve residents.
Prince Albert said it has invoiced around $2.5 million to Husky (TSX:HSE) to date and is expecting more than $2 million a month in costs to maintain the temporary water lines.
It’s not known when Prince Albert, along with the cities of North Battleford and Melfort, will be able to start taking water from the river again.
Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne says the $5 million is “a payment of good faith” that Husky will cover costs from the spill.
“Husky Energy had promised from the onset that they would take full responsibility for the oil spill and pay all associated costs, and this payment is a good indicator that they are delivering on that promise,” Dionne said Monday.
Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency said 21 samples taken from the river Aug. 4 and 5 are promising because they meet national and provincial drinking water standards.
However, a couple of samples had levels higher than guidelines set for freshwater aquatic life.
Water agency spokesman Sam Ferris said that, based on the data, he’s “fairly optimistic” about water intakes turning back on.
“I think it will be in the weeks category and not the months,” Ferris said.
“But saying that, we do need to receive the risk assessment that’s being developed through the technical working group … as well as more sample results.”
Ferris said the findings are “generally in agreement” with those from Husky.
A report released by Husky on Aug. 3 said water tests done in the days immediately after the spill found oil levels too high for Canadian drinking water guidelines in five samples within 20 kilometres of the spill site. It also said no additional high levels were detected in any samples at any location since July 24, including the water intakes at North Battleford and Prince Albert.
Those finding were based on more than 900 water samples at over 60 locations along the river.
Despite the optimistic results, Ferris said the agency wants to know the potential long-term risk of any oil that is not cleaned up before giving the go-ahead to reopen intakes.
About 147,000 litres of oil have been recovered, but the Ministry of Environment has said it’s unlikely that all the oil can be cleaned up. Some of the material will sink to the bottom of the river. There are also questions about whether oil could be churned up again when ice starts moving in next spring’s thaw.
“It’s going to be a while before the river is really clean again in the future. It’s difficult to remove all of the oil from any sediments. It’s hard to find it in the first place,” said Ferris. [Emphasis added]
Livestock water supplies still a concern after oil spill email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities, August 15, 2016
I certainly would feel much better knowing the Federal Environmental and Fisheries, were involved with the testing!! Prairie governments and the petroleum developers have in the past had far too close of a relationship to be left without federal supervision! If the sport fishing industry becomes harmed, and it is very difficult to see how the spill would enhance sport fishing—the federal Fisheries should levy fines to mitigate and correct the harm Husky brought to an important industry in this spill area of Saskatchewan?? Viewing the course of action taken with respect to the Kalamazoo River spill, may be reviewed to gain an example of what could or should be the direction to recover and mitigate the damages done by this spill!! These bitumen spills that are impossible to properly clean-up should bring a close to raw, filthy, sour bitumen going into pipelines!! This is not the end of the world and don’t let industry suggest it is, upgrading was the original plan for bitumen marketing, and is being carried out every single day at source- as it has for years!! Simply building more upgrading plants similar to how industry has reacted to upgrading natural gas is the call now– to right the greatest wrong Harper brought to bear on Canadians!! Pollution increases due to upgrading is exactly why upgrading is unpopular with industry, however, all the so called pollutants would be at a central area with upgrading at source—rather than being scattered all over the globe as industry would prefer!! Any responsible Canadian government would refuse to export it’s pollution, but act in the best interest for both pollution and marketing!!
Livestock water supplies still a concern after oil spill by Manitoba Cooperator, August 12, 2016
While cleanup and water testing continue on the North Saskatchewan River, livestock producers with river access are still advised to find alternate water sources.
Jenifer Heyden, livestock specialist with Saskatchewan Agriculture in North Battleford, said ministry staffers and Husky Energy did work with a few producers who were having trouble accessing alternate water sources, to “rectify the situation.”
Water samples haven’t exceeded guidelines for agricultural use, but Heyden said livestock producers should follow the recreational water advisory.
On top of its recommendations against swimming and other direct contact, the advisory recommended livestock and pets do not access the water, Heyden said.
The reasoning, she added, is that “if it’s not safe for people, it’s probably not safe for livestock at this point either.”
The Saskatchewan government is also advising people not to eat fish from the North Saskatchewan River.
Mel Duvall, media manager for Husky Energy, wrote via email that Husky doesn’t have an exact number for how many livestock producers border the river.
Husky staff, he said, “have been in touch with all landowners that have adjacent lands and have offered our assistance should they need it.
“We have offered to truck water in if required and to reimburse for any expenses incurred, for such things as water troughs,” he said. [What about the stress, time lost and turning lives upsidedown?]
But Husky hasn’t had many requests from livestock producers, he added. “Most are looking after things themselves or getting support from their neighbours.”
Livestock producers can call Husky’s toll-free line, 1-844-461-7991, for claim information and assistance, Heyden said.
Over 800 people are working on the spill, according to the latest update from the Saskatchewan government.
The city of Prince Albert is again providing water to the rural water utility, mobile home parks and a water crane. Workers are also disinfecting some sections of the rural water utility’s distribution system.
As of Aug. 7, over 2,100 water samples had been collected, and over 1,400 of the samples analyzed, according to the latest update from the technical working group analyzing water quality in the North Saskatchewan.
That update, posted on the Husky website, focused on the spill’s potential impact on aquatic life.
Workers have found spilled oil on the shoreline, within the water, and in the river’s sediment, mostly within 20 km of the spill. So far 37 samples had toluene levels exceeding aquatic life guidelines. Toluene was also found to exceed aquatic life guidelines in samples collected as benchmarks upstream of the spill. [Toluene damages the human brain, notably in children]
As well, eight samples had pyrene and five samples had other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons breaching aquatic life guidelines.
Toluene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons occur naturally in crude oil and are known to have toxic effects on people and animals.
As of Thursday, the Saskatchewan government reported 97 wildlife mortalities, including 48 fish, 33 birds, two reptiles and 16 small mammals. The working group update said mussels, invertebrates, and fish eggs and embryos may be more vulnerable, as they may not be able to avoid heavy oil.
The working group also plans to report on how the spill might affect the fish spawn this fall.
Fish will also be collected and tested to see how the spill might be affecting fish populations, and to gauge the risk to human health. Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health will undertake those tests, the report noted.
Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency is also sampling and analyzing water quality independently of the working group.
The technical working group includes public health experts, engineers, biologists, toxicologists, and environmental specialists from Husky, Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment, the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, and Matrix Solutions.
More information on Husky’s response is available online. –– AGCanada.com Network [Emphasis added]
Saskatchewan officials say water samples OK after oil spill in river by The Canadian Press, August 15, 2016, The Globe and Mail
The Saskatchewan Water Security Agency says water samples taken after an oil spill on the North Saskatchewan River meet national and provincial drinking water standards.
But the agency says in a news release that a couple of samples had levels higher than guidelines set for freshwater aquatic life
A Husky Energy pipeline leak detected July 21 spilled up to 250,000 litres of oil mixed with a lighter hydrocarbon into the river near Maidstone.
It’s not immediately clear how many samples were involved or where they were taken along the river.
The water security agency says the sampling will help it make an informed decision on when and what is required to turn on water treatment plant intakes for communities downstream of the spill.
The cities of North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort were forced to close their intakes from the river after the spill and use temporary water sources. [Emphasis added]
Hydrocarbons found in more water samples after Husky oil spill in North Sask. River by The Canadian Press, August 11, 2016, Global News
WATCH ABOVE: Coverage of the Husky Energy oil spill near Maidstone into the North Saskatchewan River
Hydrocarbons have been found in at least 37 water samples taken following the Husky Energy pipeline oil spill into the North Saskatchewan River.
The results are complete from more than 1,400 samples taken after the spill of up to 250,000 litres of oil and another hydrocarbon that was reported on July 21.
The report released by Husky says several hydrocarbons were too high for freshwater aquatic life guidelines.
These results are being compared to the Saskatchewan Environmental Quality Guidelines for aquatic life.
The Husky report says Saskatchewan’s guidelines may be more stringent for certain parameters than drinking water guidelines.
Three cities were forced to close their water intakes from the river after the spill and Premier Brad Wall has said more tests are needed before they can reopen. [Emphasis added]
Bill Bochek · Works at Retired
why do they always state [and other hydrocarbons ]but dont tell us what they are ? there are now less than 90 days left till the overland water supply freezes solid. there are litterly thousands of people who have lost their yearly income. i suppose husky will look after about 10% of them as they have the govt in their back pocket
City of Prince Albert seeking ‘millions’ in claims against Husky Energy by Alex MacPherson, August 10, 2016, Saskatoon StarPhoenix
The City of Prince Albert has hired independent financial advisory firm Deloitte LLP to help it recoup “millions” of dollars from Husky Energy Inc. after a massive oil spill from one of the Calgary-based energy company’s pipelines.
“It has nothing to do with us … Right from day one, I knew they were going to pay,” Prince Albert mayor Greg Dionne said in an interview Wednesday.
Prince Albert was forced to close its water treatment plant’s intake and impose water restrictions after more than 200,000 litres of heavy crude spilled near and into the North Saskatchewan River near Maidstone on July 20.
The city of 35,000 is seeking compensation for city worker and contractor salaries and overtime, the cost of building two long pipelines to feed its water treatment plant and the cost of maintaining its emergency operations centre.
Dionne said the city has spent $3 million on emergency measures over the last three weeks, and expects to pay about $2 million per month until the spill is cleaned up. The longer water pipeline alone costs $1 million per month to run, he added.
“People will be shocked at the value,” Dionne said.
Prince Albert also wants to recoup three weeks’ pay for 35 full- and part-time student lifeguards who were laid off during the crisis. Dionne said the city will cover their lost salaries.
“Those kids relied on those cheques for their tuition, their gas money to get to school, their books — it was part of their college budget,” he said. “I’ve demanded that they are made whole.”
Husky spokesman Mel Duvall said the company takes full responsibility for the incident and will cover the costs incurred by the City of Prince Albert.
“We’re working with the city and their advisors to make the claims process very efficient and we recognize the financial pressure this has put on their resources,” he said.
Dionne said he has been assured by Husky that it will cover all of the costs, and that he’s not worried about the company failing to to pay the bills. That would be a “public relations nightmare,” he said.
“There will be no cost burden to the taxpayers of P.A.,” Dionne added. [Emphasis added]
The Hong Kong tycoon, Li Ka-Shing, net worth US$31.4 billion (Forbes Rich List), who controls Husky Oil, should have no problem in compensating the City of Prince Albert.
Murray Helmer · Saskatchewan Polytechnic
And the farmers he cut off who are helping pay for PA’s water should sue PA for damages! !
William Michael Head · Human. at Planet Earth
Up yours Husky…to hell with the money. I want my river back to normal. I never dreamed a disaster such as this would ever happen to community ever. Clean up your mess A.S.A.P.
Michael Schielke · Works at Retired
Find another financial company that isn’t in bed with the oil industry the voice in my head says!!!!!!
Beverly Boe · Medical First Responder, First Aid, CPR, WHMIS, Pet First Aid Instructor at St. John Ambulance certified independent contractor
The money doesn’t really help. We can’t drink it.
Prince Albert starts billing Husky Energy for costs of oil pipeline spill in river Email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities, August 11, 2016
The Prince Albert folks certainly deserve everything they get from Husky who were left to fight the horrid bitumen spill while the City folks in PA fought to bring potable water to the thousands that depend on them!! I’m indeed surprized to hear nothing about the installation of a permanent plan”B” water supply to be addressed by Husky for those locations who have solely the North Saskatchewan to depend on?? Another leak in the dead of winter with bitumen trapped under the ice could arrive to again threaten Prince Albert!! The insurance to Husky to have another source of potable water would certainly pay dividends should that possibility come to fruition Perhaps a number of water wells could be incorporated into the Cities system for use should another event happen that Husky couldn’t handle!! Has the Province Of Saskatchewan who should have been getting fat off petroleum royalties when oil was $100 + per bbl., done anything to help those affected by this horrid bitumen spill!! A plan “B”should be in the works, and this is the time to get it done!!
Prince Albert starts billing Husky Energy for costs of oil pipeline
spill in river by The Canadian Press, August 11, 2016, Calgary Herald
PRINCE ALBERT, Alta. — The City of Prince Albert has starting billing
Husky Energy for the cost of dealing with the effects of the company’s
oil pipeline spill.
The city says it has spent “millions of dollars” in the three weeks
since the pipeline leaked up 250,000 litres of heavy oil and chemicals
into the North Saskatchewan River.
The spill forced the city to close its water treatment plant intake in
the river and scramble to hook up new sources of water for thousands of
people in the region.
The city is seeking compensation for staff salaries, contractors and
materials and for employees laid off due to the temporary closure of
facilities such as the Kinsmen Water Park.
Mayor Greg Dionne says many of these workers are students who need the
cash for school.
The city has hired the financial firm Deloitte to help its claims and
Dionne says he is confident Husky will pay up.
“We have no doubt that Husky will then reimburse us for the lost hours
to our staff and facilities during the oil spill situation,” Dionne said
Wednesday in a release.
A city official said the bills keep coming and could continue to do so
through the winter.
There is no word on when the city will be able to resume using its North
Saskatchewan River water intake valve.
The cause of the oil spill is under investigation. [Emphasis added]
[Refer also to:
2016 08 03: 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?
2016 07 31: 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?
2016 07 30: 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?”
2016 07 28: 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
2016 07 26: 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! ]