Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Sask. Ass. of Pipeline Landowners addresses Enbridge, Recent Spill

Pipeline oil spill raises questions among residents
Angela Hall, The Leader-Post
Published: Saturday, April 21, 2007

Even before an oil spill was detected near Glenavon last weekend, some area residents had questions about the underground pipelines that snake through their land.

Days before the spill from an Enbridge line on Sunday, the newly formed Saskatchewan Association of Pipeline Landowners had already scheduled Wednesday's meeting in Glenavon.

"With the break (in the pipeline), it really brought it home," said Noreen Englot, who farms near the village east of Regina.

The current spill occurred on her son's land and officials appear to be handling it well, Englot said.

But she went to the meeting to pose questions on a number of potential issues, as future pipeline projects are anticipated. Englot said she would like further assurances that farmers won't be on the hook if environmental issues arise from abandoned pipelines.

Ken Habermehl, who helped get the Saskatchewan Association of Pipeline Landowners organized early this year, said the association should give individuals a stronger voice when dealing with energy companies and the National Energy Board.

Having a group also ensures a landowner knows what to do when there is a spill on his land, he said.

The Ontario-based Canadian Alliance of Pipeline Landowners Association came to Glenavon in the wake of the spill to offer assistance, Habermehl said.

"Our job is to learn and teach each other, and help each other gain knowledge (on) how to deal with energy companies on your property," Habermehl said.

Meanwhile, cleanup continued at the spill near Glenavon, which was largely contained to a slough, Enbridge spokeswoman Jennifer Varey said Friday afternoon.

About 680 cubic metres -- or about 4,000 barrels -- had been skimmed off, though the skimmers are also picking up some water, she said.

"The rain is slowing it down a little bit, but it's still continuing sort of 24/7 until it is cleaned up," Varey said.

The line transports heavy and medium crude oil from Edmonton to Superior, Wis.

Varey said Enbridge is also discussing the longer-term remediation of the area with environmental consultants and regulators.

"Our objective is really to restore the site to as close as possible of its original condition," Varey said.

The affected section of the pipe has been cut out and sent for analysis to determine what happened, she said.

On Wednesday night, the line was restarted under reduced pressure of 80 per cent.

© The Leader-Post (Regina) 2007

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