Oil spills into creek
SUNDRE, Alta.—Up to 3,000 barrels of crude oil have spilled from a pipeline into a tributary of the Red Deer River in west-central Alberta.
Plains Midstream Canada said when the spill was detected last night, it closed off its network of pipelines in the area.
The area around Sundre is considered pristine wilderness by many in Alberta. It’s a common getaway area for people in Calgary, and popular with anglers and hunters.
Recent heavy rains have swollen rivers in the area—some to near flood stage—and local officials are concerned the oil will spread more quickly down the system.
There was no immediate word on whether the spill will threaten the quality of drinking water downstream.
Plains Midstream said it was light sour crude that spilled. It added Alberta energy regulators and government health and environment officials are monitoring water and air quality in the area.
“Light sour crude oil has a strong petroleum odour, but this odour does not pose a health or safety risk to the public,” the company said in a news release.
The spill comes as Plains Midstream continues to clean up an April 29, 2011 pipeline spill of 4.5 million litres of oil northeast of Peace River, Alta.
That leak—one of the largest in Alberta history—happened in a remote area on the 772-km, 44-year-old line between Zama, Alta. and Edmonton.