This is why millions of people around the world are opposed to the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines just pushed through by Donald Trump. 53,000 gallons or around 1,260 barrels of oil was reported to have spilled on First Nations land in Saskatchewan, Canada last week, though some local residents warn the spill may have occurred earlier. The oil has leaked onto agricultural land, but the government said it has not infiltrated water sources.
The leak is Saskatchewan’s largest pipeline breach since a 225,000-liter oil spill last year; some of that oil made its way into the North Saskatchewan river. The recent spill happened on reserve land owned by the Ocean Man First Nation and covered a 66-foot radius. Some 52,834 gallons of oil spilled.
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With multiple pipelines in the area, the government is uncertain which was responsible for the spill. They think the source could be a pipeline owned by Tundra Energy Marketing Limited (TEML), so the company is leading clean-up efforts. So far 170,000 liters, or around 44,909 gallons, have been recovered, according to the government, which also said wildlife and air quality have not yet been harmed by the spill.
TEML released a statement and said, “Clean-up work on the site commenced immediately and involved the removal of surface oil with vacuum trucks. Additional clean-up work and remediation will be conducted to ensure that the affected land is restored appropriately.”
The pipeline was reportedly shut down as soon as the breach was found. But some people wonder if the spill was already underway before the government was made aware of it. Ocean Man First Nation chief Connie Big Eagle said one band member, a longtime oil industry employee, smelled a strange odor near the site of the spill. Big Eagle told CBC News the smell was “going on for about a week.”
Images via ripperda on Flickr and Ingrid Taylar on Flickr