Friday, June 14, 2013

Eye Recommend --- Toxic Waste Spill in Northern Alberta Biggest of Recent Disasters in North America


(The underlines are mine.)

"The substance is the inky black colour of oil, and the treetops are brown.  Across a broad expanse of northern Alberta muskeg, the landscape is dead.  It has been poisoned by a huge spill of 9.5 million litres of toxic waste from an oil and gas operation in northern Alberta...

...The spill was first spotted on June 1.  But not until Wednesday did Houston-based Apache Corp. release estimates of its size..."
The estimated size is enough to fill 52 Canada football fields.
"It comes amid heightened sensitivity about pipeline safety, as the industry faces broad public opposition to plans for a series of major new oil export pipelines to the U.S., British Columbia and eastern Canada...

...'Every plant and tree died' in the area touched by the spill, said James Ahnassay, chief of the Dene Tha First Nation, whose members run traplines in (the) area...

...The Energy Resources conservation Board, Alberta's energy regulator, said (the leak) contained roughly 200 parts per million of total.  But information compiled (from other sources) suggests the toxic substance contains hydrocarbons, high levels of salt, sulphurous compounds, metals...along with chemical solvents and additives used by the oil industry."
So much for openness and honesty.  Do they really expect us to believe that a pipeline used to extract oil from tar sands--a process which involves the use of chemicals and additives--would leak a substance that is chemical and additive free?
"The Dene Tha suspect this is a long-standing spill that may have gone undetected for months, given the widespread damage it has done...

...The leak follows a pair of other major spills in the region, including 800,000 litres of an oil-water mixture from Pace Oil and Gas Ltd., and nearly 3.5 million litres of oil from a pipeline run by Plans Midstream Canada...

...The (spill) took place in an area rich with wetlands.  Though the Dene Tha suspect waterfowl have died, the company said it has seen no wildlife impacts."
Come on!  This is a 42 hectare piece of Canadian wetlands, and the Apache Corp. expects us to believe there are no affected waterfowl?  
"The spill has not reached the Zama River, although the Alberta government said it has affected tributaries...

...Neither (The Apache Corp.) nor Alberta initially disclosed the spill, which was only made public after someone reported it to a TV station late last week...

...'This latest spill should call into question the provincial government's decision to hide the pipeline safety report they received last year'...said Greenpeace campaigner Mike Hudema."
So we have:
  •  Fifty-two footballs fields worth of oil and chemical polluted water-- probably leaking for months--that is not reported until someone sends photos to a TV station.
  • A pipeline safety report that is not released to the public. 
  • A Houston based oil company that wants us to believe that no industry chemicals are adding to the pollution and that no waterfowl will be impacted.  
Still think the Keystone XL pipeline--which will be built and monitored by the same companies as the pipelines in Canada--will be environmentally safe?

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