Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Guides, Residents Fear Fishery Damage from Oil Pipeline Leak into Alberta River: Oily Mess Creates Concerns for Anglers

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Guides, Residents Fear Fishery Damage from Oil Pipeline Leak into Alberta River: Oily Mess Creates Concerns for Anglers

Article excerpt

SUNDRE, Alta. - Fishing guides and local residents fear a pipeline leak into the Red Deer River could do long-term damage to one of Alberta's premier sport-fishing destinations and are demanding ongoing monitoring to track the spill's effects.

"They've got to be here for as long as it takes to monitor what's going on along that river, for sure," guide Garry Pierce of Tailwater Drifters said Monday.

"I just hope they're not going to come in for three weeks or a month and say 'Oh yeah, we're good. We've got it cleaned up, and off we go.' That's just not going to be good enough."

Kelsey Kure, who lives on about two kilometres of waterfront along the affected part of the river, agreed.

"There has to be a study done to determine the effects of this. You can't just go on pretending that nothing happened, that there are no impacts."

On Thursday night, a section of pipeline owned by Plains Midstream Canada running under the river near Sundre leaked up to 475,000 litres of oil.

The company has said high river levels flushed most of the oil downstream into Gleniffer Lake, a man-made reservoir and popular recreational area.

On Monday, Plains Midstream said the oil release had been stopped within booms placed on the lake. A skimmer was removing oil from the lake and absorbent pads were soaking up oil at the site of the leak. Wildlife deterrents have been placed to try and keep animals from the water.

Crews were working to clean shorelines and remove contaminated debris. More than 170 people were working on cleanup and remediation, the company said in a release.

But that doesn't mean there won't be consequences. Kure, a water resource technician for a forestry company, said oil is pooling up along the river's margins.

"(Oil) got mixed in with all the silt and sediment in the river. So wherever there's sediment, there's oil particles."

He also points out the affected stretch of river is highly braided. …

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