Environment Pollution in Canada on January 24 2017 04:06 AM (UTC).
A pipeline has spilled 200,000 litres - or 200 cubic metres - of crude oil on First Nations land, north of Stoughton. The Ministry of Environment was notified of the spill on Friday afternoon, with the government saying it came from a line owned by Tundra Energy Marketing Inc. Stoughton is about 62 kilometres east of Weyburn, and the oil spilled onto agricultural land owned by Ocean Man First Nation, according to the province. Authorities said the spill site is in a low-lying area that contains a frozen slough. The spill is, they say, fully contained and oil is not entering into any creeks or streams. Ocean Man First Nation and Environment and Climate Change Canada were also informed of the spill on Friday, the province said, but a press release was only sent out on Monday afternoon. The cleanup started Saturday. "Because of the shape of the slough it's kind of like a natural basin, so it's contained in there," said Chief Connie Big Eagle of Ocean Man First Nation. "(The) contamination was about 50 feet in diameter." "It appears to be by an old well site that's on Ocean Man land," she added. "The slough is not located within the old well site, it's kind of beside it." Economy Assistant Deputy Minister Doug MacKnight defended the delay in notifying the public, saying cleanup efforts took priority. The pipeline was shut down after the breach was discovered, the province said. Tundra is leading the cleanup, with a dig on-site expected in the next two days. "The excavation I expect to start on Wednesday, to find the damaged pipe," MacKnight said. "It's not until we remove the cover and get down (that we will) be able to identify exactly where the source is. We think it's the general area, but until you remove the cover, you won't really know 100 per cent." The cleanup included the removal of surface oil with vacuum trucks. The province says 170 cubic metres (170,000 litres) has been recovered. "There are a number of pipes in the area; we think it's one in particular, but until the actual source of the spill has been identified, you won't know 100 per cent," MacKnight said, saying for now the presumption remains that the pipe is Tundra's. "The company is going to continue to work on the clean-up and we'll be supervising," he said. "The response is going to be ongoing; if it turns out it's somebody else's pipe we'll deal with it at that time, but the clean-up is still going to proceed." The province says local air quality and wildlife have not been been affected. "Of course there's concern; we don't like oil spills, nobody does. So we're going to investigate it very thoroughly and find out in fact what's gone on," MacKnight said. "I have requested to be informed as soon as they find out where it's coming from," Big Eagle said. "It appears that everyone is doing what they can and what they are supposed to be doing; however, at this point in time, the break has not been located." "There's three companies in the area, and they're trying to determine whose line it is," she added. "There's environmentalists from the province, environmentalists from Indian Affairs, there are clean-up crews from various companies that are out there ... because in a situation like that they all try and co-operate with each other to minimize the damage." "Ocean Man is co-operating as well, because we want as least damage to be done to the environment as possible, but yet at the same time address the situation." The Husky oil spill that leaked into the North Saskatchewan River on July 20 spilled 225,000 litres.w