- Published on Friday, 08 June 2012 14:15
- Written by Pat Kolafa | © DrumhellerMail.com
The Red Deer River has been hard hit this past week after intense rains caused the river to rise high enough to warrant high stream warnings and flood watches. However, a new crisis has arisen near Sundre that could threaten the health of the Red Deer River.
Late in the evening on Thursday, June 7, the Rangeland South Pipeline released up to 3,000 barrels (475,000 litres) of hydrocarbons into Jackson Creek, a tributary of the Red Deer River.
Drumheller is expected to be safe from the spill.
"As it stands, I don’t expect it to make it down to Drumheller,” said Jessica Potter, spokesperson for Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development.
The Town of Drumheller does not need to or can draw water from the river for the immediate future either.
“Right now our reservoirs are pretty full and the river is running hard, so it’s pretty dirty right now,” said Brian Bolduc, utilities manager with the Town of Drumheller. “It will likely be a week to ten days before we can pull [water from the river] again.”
Crews are working to contain the spill in the Glenniffer Lake reservoir.
“Right now, the government is working to contain the spill at Glennifer Lake, so that is where it will end,” said Potter.
The line was shut down and emergency crews are on the scene cleaning the spill. The air and water quality is being monitored. According to a release by Plains Midstream Canada, the spill has a strong petroleum odour, but the odour does not pose a health or safety risk to the public.
“There is water quality testing being done for residents downstream of the spill, from Sundre to Glennifer Lake,” said Potter.
This isn’t the first spill Plains Midstream Canada has dealt with. Just over a year ago 4.5 million litres of crude oil was released from the company’s Rainbow pipeline near Peace River. The incident is one of the largest spills in Alberta’s history.
The City of Red Deer, which is downstream of the spill is currently advising no action is required by their residents.
Keep checking in at www.drumhellermail.com for the latest on the spill and how it effects Drumheller, or like us on Facebook for updates.