1 year after Sundre oil spill, landowner questions cleanup
2011 Plains Midstream pipeline rupture spewed 3,000 barrels of crude into Red Deer River
One year after about 3,000 barrels of oil leaked into the Red Deer River, a local landowner isn’t convinced the cleanup has been good enough.
Last June 7 a Plains Midstream pipeline ruptured near Sundre, Alta., about 120 kilometres north of Calgary, sending light sour crude downstream to Gleniffer Lake at the Dickson Dam.
The reservoir provides drinking water for several communities in the area.
The company’s reclamation of the site is almost complete and provincial and federal regulators are expected to return to the area in July to inspect.
According to Plains Midstream, no remaining contamination has been found in the affected areas, damaged trees and shrubs are growing back and wildlife is returning.
But landowner Wayne Johnston says he is not convinced the area will ever be the same.
"I can still show you brush piles covered with oil … and as soon as high water hits, it will be all down in the dam down there," he said.
The province is still not allowing people to eat any fish they catch in the area.