“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.

Tippi • Comment to Saskatchewan city prepares for possible arrival of oil from major pipeline spill

Crickets are leading the chorus from the Saskatchewan media.
We, in this province, didn’t even know that pipelines could possibly leak. We are baffled by this – aren’t all pipelines, good pipelines? And since when did pipelines start carrying oil? We were always given to understand that they carry cash. Oh, and jobs. Pipelines in Saskatchewan are full of cash and jobs, aren’t they?

Booms Fail To Contain Major Oil Spill In Saskatchewan River by The Canadian Press, July 22, 2016, Huffingtonpost

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. – Attempts to stop a pipeline oil spill from flowing down a major river in Saskatchewan failed Friday and new steps were being taken to try to contain the slick.

A government official said booms placed on the North Saskatchewan River by Husky Energy to contain the spill were ineffective because high water levels lifted the oil over the barriers.

The official, who did not want to be named, said Husky Energy (TSX:HSE) and the government were placing booms further downstream and increasing skimming to try to remove oil from the water.

Between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of crude oil and other material leaked into the river on Thursday from a breach in Husky’s pipeline near Maidstone, Sask. The company shut down the line and put out the booms about 40 kilometres upstream from North Battleford.

North Battleford saw signs of the spill as early as Friday morning and shut down its water intake plant.

“Husky reported to water security that they … saw a sheen and so everything gets shut right down,” said Stewart Schafer, the city’s director of operations.

“How much, how big, I couldn’t tell you.”

Schafer said the city has a backup supply of water in its reservoirs and water tower. It also has a ground-water treatment plant.

“We have about three days and then we have to start up the other plant. By that time we are hoping that whatever contaminants hit the river are flushed down.” [To poison the next community?]

The reservoirs and water tower had already been filled to capacity as a precautionary measure.

North Battleford Mayor Ian Hamilton asked residents to slow the flow from their taps to help ensure an adequate supply. The city issued a news release telling people that car washes were being shut down, laundromats closed and citizens were being asked not to water their lawns or wash their cars.

The city and Husky also were building a berm around the water intake at the water treatment plant to prevent oily water from getting in.

Precautions for residents urged

Prince Albert issued a statement late Friday afternoon urging its residents to fill bathtubs and water jugs with water over the next 24 hours. Oil from the Husky spill is expected to reach the city by Sunday, the city said, adding it will likely be shutting down its water treatment plant’s intake from the river.

Rob Peabody, Husky’s chief operating officer, said some of the spilled oil was on land and was being recovered.

“What we do know is the leak was not under the river, as far as we can see,” he said. “The leak was kind of in a location near the river.”

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

Wes Kotyk of the department’s environmental protection branch said the spill, which he said was equivalent to two rail cars, was of a “higher magnitude” than Saskatchewan is used to.

“This is a rare event. We don’t have incidents of this magnitude very often,” said Kotyk, who added it’s been a number of years since there’s been an oil spill into water.

Kotyk said fish and wildlife staff were developing a plan in case wildlife was affected.

Peabody said it could be several weeks before a cause for the spill is known. He didn’t know the age of the pipeline, but said it would have been regularly inspected under Husky’s management plan.

Premiers reiterate pipeline support

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said no one wants to see an oil spill occur, but the latest leak doesn’t change his support for pipelines.

“The facts remain that if we’re not moving by a pipeline, it’s going to move … (by rail). We know that rail is actually more susceptible to spills and spills are often more intense,” Wall said from Whitehorse, Yukon, where he was attending a premiers meeting.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who is pushing for a pipeline to get her province’s oil to ocean ports so it can get to international markets, echoed Wall’s assessment.

“Even with this spill it remains the case that absolutely the safest way to transport oil and gas is by way of pipeline,” she said.

Had a spill occurred on rail there might well be injuries involved. [What a ridiculous thing for a premier to say. Pipeline spills cause injuries and can kill.] In everything you do there are risks, but I would suggest overall the risks (of pipelines) are low.” [Ya, in Alberta to the tune of averaging two crude oil spills a day for decades with the NDP saying AER’s doing a nice job, no need to clean up, or monitor, or implement highest standard of anything, or make improvements]
Notley stresses pipeline safety after another major spill by James Wood, July 22, 2016, Calgary Herald

Premier Rachel Notley is downplaying the political impact of a significant new pipeline spill that occurred as she was pitching the need for new pipelines to her fellow premiers.

… At the closing news conference of the Council of the Federation in Whitehorse on Friday, Notley said “no one wants to see pipeline spills.” [While enabling an average of 2 a day in Alberta?]

“But I think that even with this spill it remains the case that absolutely the safest way to transport oil and gas is by pipeline and so the key is to ensure that we incorporate the safest mechanisms possible, the highest standards in terms of pipeline safety and pipeline monitoring, and also the highest standards in terms of cleanup,” the Alberta premier said in response to a reporter’s question. [While doing nothing about Alberta averaging two crude oil spills a day for decades?]

Notley went to the annual meeting of provincial and territorial leaders with a message that new pipelines are needed not just for Alberta but for the rest of Canada as it faces a slowing economy. [New Canadian Anthem: “Let’s help multinationals rape and ravage billions in profits while spilling bitumen, condensate and crude across the country, coast to coast”]

Alberta is keen to see pipeline projects built to open new markets — and win a better price — for Alberta oilsands crude, which would give a boost to government coffers and a provincial economy battered by slumping oil prices.

But with strong environmental opposition to projects favoured by Notley’s NDP government, including Kinder Morgan’s planned Trans Mountain expansion in British Columbia and the proposed Energy East project to the Atlantic coast, some premiers have been leery about new pipelines and have set numerous conditions for their approval.

Notley said she has no problem with other jurisdictions focusing on pipeline safety. [Why? Because Alberta has zip for pipeline safety?]

“It’s up to proponents to ensure that they do the best job that they can and I believe that as we move forward with newer and new pipelines that that’s exactly what’s happening in the industry,” she said. [Yup, self-regulation to the tune of captured pollution enabler via massively obscene wages and expense accounts and deregulation at the AER]

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall also said he didn’t see the Husky spill affecting the case for pipelines.

“The facts remain that if we’re not moving by a pipeline, it’s going to move … (by rail). We know that rail is actually more susceptible to spills and spills are often more intense,” said Wall, who has been at odds with Notley over issues such as carbon pricing even as they both support pipelines. [Emphasis added]

Saskatchewan town forced to shut down water plant after Husky pipeline spill by Jeffery Jones, July 22, 2016, The Globe and Mail

Crude oil that spilled from a Husky Energy Inc. pipeline into a major waterway has forced the city of North Battleford, Sask., to shut the intake for its water-treatment plant to guard against contamination.

As much as 250 cubic metres, or roughly 1,600 barrels, of heavy oil leaked from the pipeline onto the land near Maidstone, Sask., on Thursday, with an as-yet-unknown volume polluting the North Saskatchewan River, Husky said. Maidstone is about 85 kilometres upstream of North Battleford.

The cause of the rupture has not been determined. Husky said it had deployed booms in efforts to prevent the oil from floating downstream.

But an oil slick was expected to reach North Battleford on Friday afternoon, said Susanne Abe, a spokeswoman for the city of 14,000 people. With the main plant shut down, residents are getting water from a backup system that taps underground supplies. The city had also filled up its water tower and reservoir as a precaution.

“We’re asking our residents to conserve water by not watering their lawns,” Ms. Abe said.

Crews from Husky were scheduled to arrive in town on Friday to build a berm around the water plant’s intake, she said.

A Husky executive said on Friday that the company is working with authorities to make sure that municipalities are informed and able to deal with any water-quality issues.

“We’ve got a water-quality and sampling program that we’re going to be doing,” Rob Peabody, Husky’s chief operating officer, said during a conference call to discuss the company’s second-quarter results.

Husky is still determining the age of the line, which carries crude from production fields to Husky’s heavy-oil upgrading plant in Lloydminster, Mr. Peabody said. He said the system is tested regularly.

The shutdown of the pipeline will have minimal impact on Husky’s production because it has other conduits in the region, he said. [Emphasis added]

***

major bitumen spill ! email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities and politicians, July 22, 2016

Husky can celebrate that their massive oil bitumen and diluent spill into the North Saskatchewan river took place in Brad Wall’s Province of Saskatchewan!! Wall will surely be calling Ottawa for funds to help the industry clean-up and recover the approx. 1500 bbl. of petroleum product!! Enbridge paid fines of 177 million for a similar action of bitumen products spilled into the Kalamazoo river in United States!!

Never did I believe a producer could actually spill 1500 bbl. of bitumen product in a main water course in Canada and receive such a small amount of news coverage??

Pipeline failures seem unimportant in Alberta since the arrival of the NDP government—Alberta has just pasted the quietest spring season for many many years with respect to pipeline failures!!

Although the North Saskatchewan River must be included in major waterways of Canada, and the spill certainly could effect the fish population of Northern Saskatchewan—folks in British Columbia are celebrating it isn’t the Frazer River and salmon stocks in the news!!

How will the Saskatchewan government handle the royalties if indeed 1500 bbl. of petroleum product is not recovered? There remains so many unknowns about this spill—that must be of interest to other more progressive provinces, who have decisions of allowing raw sour bitumen products to cross their fish bearing waterways?? This is the amazing aspect of the coverage of this major environmental crises, and it’s possible effects on further bitumen products allowed to cross Canadian waterways while not upgraded—but in a raw sour heavy condition!! [Emphasis added]

Stewart Shields

200K litres of oil from Husky Energy pipe leaked into North Saskatchewan River, company says, ‘Sheen’ of oil observed on North Saskatchewan River by CBC News, July 21, 2016

Husky Oil said a leak from one of its pipelines spilled about 200,000 litres of heavy oil mixed with a thinning chemical into the North Saskatchewan River near Lloydminster, Sask., Thursday.

The company said it shut the pipelines, part of its Saskatchewan gathering system, which halted the release.

The line was moving heavy oil with a product called diluent, which helps the oil flow. The spill into the river was noticed as a sheen on the water Thursday morning. It entered the river about 30 kilometres east of Lloydminster.

According to the company, the total volume was “estimated at 200 to 250 cubic metres.” A cubic metre is equivalent to 1,000 litres.

The nearest town to the leak is Maidstone, Sask.,which is approximately 220 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

The provincial government confirmed the leak and noted Husky activated an emergency response team and berms were being used to contain the spill.

Another berm was being set up further downstream near Paynton, Sask.

Husky said the company is working closely with authorities and area municipalities.

Spokesman Mel Duvall said in an email that the oil was in a line that runs from the company’s heavy oil operations to its processing facilities in Lloydminster.

“A sheen was observed on the North Saskatchewan River,” Duvall said. “Husky immediately deployed spill response equipment and crews to commence clean up, recovery and water sampling.”

The province said an environmental protection officer had been dispatched to the site. It also said Husky, with co-operation from the province, was notifying river users downstream of the spill.

Water sources being monitored

In North Battleford, Sask., which draws its water supply from the North Saskatchewan River downstream from the spill, city officials said they had been informed and were taking precautions.

“The spill might not reach the city as cleaning efforts are underway, including the use of river booms near Paynton that will skim for materials,” Susanne Abe, a communications official for the city, said in a statement. “In case the oil spill reaches North Battleford, the city has taken precautionary measures.”

Tammy MacCormack, the city’s environment manager, said it was unknown how long it would take for the flow to reach North Battleford. But water samples were being taken, she said, and supply intakes would be shut if the oil spill reached the city.

“Our plan is to be shut down when it goes by,” said MacCormack. “We will be watching the water.”

According to the city, the oil could reach North Battleford by Friday morning.

“The oil spill does not pose a health risk to consumers,” Abe said in her statement.

She added that in the event the water treatment system is shut down, the city would turn to an alternate facility that uses ground water for its supply.

In that case, the city would ask residents to reduce water use.

Duvall said the company was “working closely” with a number of regulatory agencies and government officials on the matter and added more details would be provided as their investigation into the leak proceeds.

***

Is This To Be A Copy Of What Happened At Kalamazoo To Enbridge ? email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities and politicians, July 21, 2016

It’s hard to believe that a province like Saskatchewan with a known Petro-Puppet would be first to let the public know that a spill is underway on a major waterway!! In Alberta we have had few announcements this spring and early summer, with respect to pipeline failures??? Is Alberta not having there normal amount of pipeline failures or are the failures not being brought to the public’s attention under this new NDP government? Of interest will be if the diluent evaporates on the surface allowing the heavier crude to fall below surface making clean-up close to what happened to Enbridge who spilled heavy bitumen and diluents into the Kalamazoo River? Enbridge were fined $177 million for their failures at State level—what should we expect Brad Wall will demand from Husky to insure they get back to compliance?

Stewart Shields

North Battleford, Sask., prepares for possible arrival of spilled oil
by The Canadian Press, July 22, 2016, The Globe and Mail

Reservoirs and the water tower in North Battleford have been filled to capacity as a precautionary measure in the event oil from a major pipeline spill reaches the Saskatchewan city.

Husky Energy says between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of crude oil and other material leaked into the North Saskatchewan River Thursday morning near Maidstone, Sask.

Efforts are being made by Husky to contain the spill through the use of booms across the river, about 40 kilometres upstream from North Battleford.

Mayor Ian Hamilton says in the event any oil makes it through, the city’s water treatment plant, which draws its supply from the North Saskatchewan, will be shut down.

But he says a ground water treatment plant is still available and officials are asking residents to slow the flow from their taps to help ensure an adequate supply.

A release from the city says any oil that gets past the booms would likely reach North Battleford by Friday morning, but that it does not pose a health risk to consumers.

“I’m being told that these efforts are going to ensure the safety of the water supply and the citizens’ security,” said Hamilton.

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

Ralph Bock of the Environment Ministry said Thursday the Water Security Agency will take samples from the river past the boom before any water intakes to monitor hydrocarbons in the river.

“Right now we’re focusing on let’s just the minimize the footprint of this and we’ll do our damage assessments once we’re sure we’re not going to be causing any more damage,” he said. [Emphasis added]

Husky Energy pipeline leaked oil into North Sask. River by The Canadian Press, July 21, 2016, Star Phoenix

The Saskatchewan government says oil from a pipeline has spilled into the North Saskatchewan River.

In an email, the province said a breach was reported on a Husky Energy line upstream of Maidstone on Thursday morning.

It said Husky activated an emergency response team and berms were being used to contain the oil blend near the spill site. Another berm was being set up further downstream near Paynton.

Husky said it shut down the line and was working closely with neighbours and municipalities.

Husky spokesman Mel Duvall said in an email that the amount of oil spilled was still being assessed.

He said the line runs from the company’s heavy oil operations to its facilities in Lloydminster and carries oil mixed with a diluent, which is a lighter hydrocarbon that’s added to ease the flow.

The province said an environmental protection officer had been dispatched to the site. It also said Husky, with co-operation from the province, was notifying river users downstream of the spill.

In North Battleford, which draws its water supply from the North Saskatchewan River downstream from the spill, city officials said they had been informed and were taking precautions.

Tammy MacCormack, the city’s environment manager, said it was unknown how long it would take for the flow to reach North Battleford. She said water samples were being done and supply intakes were to be shut if the spill reached the city.

“Our plan is to be shut down when it goes by,” MacCormack said.

“We will be watching the water.” [Emphasis added]

***

God We’re Dumb!! email by Stewart Shields to federal and provincial authorities and politicians, July 22, 2016

Every landowner and provincial regulator in Canada should hold a copy of these commitments made by Enbridge to the States of Michigan and Illinois in United States!! Why can Canada not gain these types of redemptions from energy industry members that American interests seem to always get?? Cash fines is certainly the route to compliance regardless of Province ,State, or Country!! Our Alberta method of shutting in production on out of compliance sights is more hurtful to the innocent and public owners of the petroleum properties, than the guilty operator? Indeed Norway will charge the offending operator for the loss of public petroleum property burnt during a blow-out!! Both Alberta and especially Saskatchewan are in very bad need of a review of how their publicly owned petroleum properties are managed—and who`s benefit is first recognized by present regulators!!

Cash fines is the normal method of gaining compliance in all areas of the free world with petroleum developers being the exception? Indeed major pipeline failures seem not publicly reported since the arrival of the NDP party in Alberta? Is our new government frightened of the powerful petroleum development industry?? Is this why we have seen no change to the AER –the Alberta petroleum regulator- so despised in rural Alberta??

Alberta should release it’s ownership to Federal authorities with hopes of public management that fits with other nations who have proven success in gaining wealth for their owning public from petroleum ownership!! Neither Alberta or indeed Saskatchewan have a hope of gaining proper returns for their owning public under present arrangements!! Professional Crown Corporation should otherwise be placed in power to manage for provincial owners of all aspects of petroleum development including pipelines, refineries, upgraders for added value, etc. Neither Alberta nor Saskatchewan have properly managed their petro resources in the best interests of their owning public. Indeed Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall would canvass our federal government for cash to clean-up industries messes, rather than use cash fines to bring industries practises into compliance? God we’re dumb !! [Emphasis added]

Stewart Shields, Lacombe, Alberta

Enbridge to pay $177 million for one of the largest onshore oil spills in U.S. history by Geoffrey Morgan, July 20, 2016, Financial Post
Enbridge Energy Partners (EEP), a U.S. subsidiary of the Calgary-based pipeliner, has agreed to pay US$62 million in fines, reimburse the U.S. government US$5.4 million for its clean up efforts and spend US$110 million to prevent spills in the future.

The costs are in addition to the US$75 million Enbridge agreed to pay to the state of Michigan in a 2015 settlement and the money it spent cleaning up the mess. [Who’s fixing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers?] Who’s supplying safe alternate water to the community? No one.]

“From the beginning, Enbridge and EEP made a commitment to the people of Michigan that we would clean up and restore the Kalamazoo River and surrounding areas, and cover the costs. We’ve done that,” Enbridge president and CEO Al Monaco said in a release.

Mark Maki, president of Enbridge Energy Partners, said the company accepts the civil penalties announced Wednesday and the new safety measures imposed in the justice department’s decree.

The two spills happened within months of each other in the summer of 2010 on the company’s Lakehead pipeline system, which is a network of 14 pipelines that deliver 1.7 million barrels of oil per day from Canada to the U.S.

First, an Enbridge line spilled 20,082 barrels of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan in July. Then, as the company was trying to clean up and deal with heavy criticism, a further 6,427 barrels spilled in Illinois from another line in the system.

It was one of the largest onshore oil spills in U.S. history, affecting 4,435 acres (1,795 hectares) of nearby shoreline, affecting water quality, fish and wildlife.

Enbridge was sharply criticized for its handling of the spill – including in a U.S. National Transportation Safety Board review of the incidents, which infamously likened the company’s response to the fictional and comically inept Keystone Kops of silent film fame.

Under the terms of the settlement announced Wednesday, Enbridge will need to replace 482 kilometres of pipelines in the area and “take major actions to improve its spill preparedness and emergency response programs.”

“It requires Enbridge to take robust measures to improve the maintenance and monitoring of its Lakehead pipeline system, protecting lakes, rivers, land and communities across the upper Midwest, as well as pay a significant penalty,” justice department assistant attorney general John Cruden said in a release.

Enbridge has already filed applications to replace much of that line between Neche, N.D. and Superior, Wisc. and has included the US$2.6 billion cost of the replacement in its long-term capital plan.

“The learnings from our experience have made us a better company and the way we think about safety has changed,” Monaco said, adding that Enbridge has increased its focus on safety in the last six years since the spills.

Enbridge will spend $172 million in fines, safety improvements for 2010 Michigan pipeline spill by Jennifer A. Dlouhy with assistance from Jeremy van Loon, Bloomberg News, July 20, 2016, Calgary Herald
Enbridge Inc. will spend $172 million paying fines and boosting safety across its pipeline operations in a deal with the Justice Department resolving Clean Water Act violations connected to its 2010 oil spill near Marshall, Michigan.

The settlement agreement announced Wednesday resolves the biggest lingering legal question over the failure of Enbridge’s Line 6B, which sent more than 20,000 barrels of oil gushing into a Kalamazoo River tributary when it ruptured six years ago. The incident became one of the largest inland spills in U.S. history and stoked concerns about the safety of pipelines moving heavy Canadian crude across the border.

Under the settlement, Enbridge agreed to pay $62 million for violating the Clean Water Act, the largest fine for a pipeline spill ever under that law. The company also will spend at least $110 million taking steps to improve operations and prevent spills across its Lakehead pipeline system spanning 2,000 miles near the Great Lakes. Enbridge is required under the deal to replace nearly 300 miles of one of the pipelines.

“This settlement will make the delivery of our nation’s energy resources safer and more environmentally responsible,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden said in a news release. “It requires Enbridge to take robust measures to improve the maintenance and monitoring of its Lakehead pipeline system, protecting lakes, rivers, land and communities across the upper Midwest.”

Biggest Pipeline Fine

It is the biggest Clean Water Act fine in a settlement except for the penalties levied in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf, according to the Justice Department. Previously, the biggest Clean Water Act fine tied to a pipeline spill was a $34 million penalty levied against Colonial Pipeline Co. in 2003, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The penalties for Enbridge come on top of other spill-related costs, including $4 million in natural resource damages the company agreed to pay last year. The company has already paid $57.8 million to reimburse the government for cleanup costs tied to its Marshall spill, previously said it would pay $75 million to settle claims pursued by the state of Michigan and spent more than $800 million cleaning up the accident.

Enbridge’s 30-inch Line 6B runs through Michigan as it ferries oil between Sarnia, Ontario and Griffith, Indiana. At the time of the spill, it was carrying diluted bitumen from Canada. According to a U.S. government complaint, the pipeline rupture — which it blamed on corrosion — triggered alarms in Enbridge’s control room, but the company failed to notice until at least 17 hours later. Flooding pushed the discharged oil into flood plains and ultimately helped push it more than 35 miles downstream, with some of that heavy crude coating birds, muskrats and turtles.

The Kalamazoo River reopened for recreational activities after 22 months of cleanup work that Acting EPA Regional Administrator Robert Kaplan described as “arduous.” Cleanup efforts were complicated because some of the heavy crude sunk.

Cynthia Giles, the assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said the agreement “puts in place advanced leak detection and monitoring requirements to make sure a disaster like this one doesn’t happen again.”

The settlement agreement is subject to a 30-day public comment period. [In Alberta, regulators didn’t even have the integrity to tell the public Encana broke the law and frac’d a community’s drinking water supply, contaminating it. Rather, the regulators engaged in fraud and further violated the law covering-up for Encana. Emphasis added]

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