Red Deer County mayor confident in clean-up efforts

Crews continue to work on cleaning up the area surrounding an oil spill into waterways and tributaries of the Red Deer River north of Sundre on June 7.

On Tuesday, Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood had an aerial view of the affected oil spill area. Wood, along with industry officials and the assistant county manager were taken by helicopter to see the origin of the incident as well as the entire affected area.

“After seeing the affected area and the huge effort underway to contain and clean up the spill, I am quite reassured that residents will be safe,” he said. “I believe every effort is being made to minimize the damage caused by this very unfortunate event.”

County representatives have been on-site at the Glennifer Reservoir since the beginning of the containment effort. Booms continue to trap the oil, while it is removed from the water with specialized equipment. The cleanup of debris and the land will be a long-term, ongoing effort.

On June 7, Plains Midstream Canada’s pipeline broke under Jackson Creek. Preliminary estimates suggested between 1,000 and 3,000 barrels of crude oil was released.

Meanwhile, water quality continues to be monitored along the Red Deer River near Sundre to the Red Deer water treatment facility. Water is sampled from 18 locations, twice daily to evaluate hydrocarbon levels and is sent for laboratory testing, with reports provided to the appropriate regulatory agencies.

Today, officials said 179 response personnel were onsite continuing with clean-up activities, installing wildlife deterrents and maintaining containment.

An additional 50 ft. of lake boom has been added to control point number one, bringing the total length of containment booms to over 6,000 ft.

Continuous air monitoring has been established since the first day and no levels of H2S above Alberta ambient air quality objectives have been detected.

A team of 13 wildlife monitors, including three wildlife biologists and two wildlife technicians, also continue to conduct wildlife observations, deploying wildlife deterrents and providing human presence to further deter wildlife, officials say.