Landowner says CN hasn't reached out after train carrying oil derails on his ranch
Cause of derailment still under investigation
While CN Rail publicly apologizes for a derailment that leaked crude oil onto a western Manitoba farm Saturday, the man who owns the land where cleanup efforts are now underway says he hasn't heard from the railway company.
In all 37 crude oil cars derailed on land owned by rancher Jayme Corr near St. Lazare, in the rural municipality of Ellice-Archie, about 300 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg. No one was injured in the crash.
As the first train since the derailment rolled past his home Sunday, Corr told CBC News he's been left in the dark about what is being done on his property and about whether or not he'll be compensated for damages.
"That is my land on both sides of the track there and I haven't heard from one person at CN," he said over the phone from his home less than two kilometres from the crash site.
"That's really concerning, I would say someone should have been in my yard yesterday — I should be getting a report everyday telling me what's going on up there.
"Isn't that just common courtesy?"
Jonathan Abecassis, a media relations director for CN, would only say the company is working with local landowners when asked specifically if the company had reached out to Corr.
Abecassis did say Corr would receive "support and remediation" from CN.
"We make things right," he said.
Abecassis said investigators are still working to determine the cause of the derailment.
"CN apologizes for any inconvenience this incident has caused to the community and would like to thank the first responders who attended the derailment site," he said in an emailed statement.
Abecassis says an environmental team has started cleaning up the area.
Oil, cars remain at site
Aside from removing derailed cars off of the line, none of the cars have been removed from his land, said Corr, and while a clay berm has been built around the pool of spilled oil, it doesn't look like any of it has been removed yet.
He's worried the pool of oil will contaminate a lagoon his cattle use as a water source, and says he wants to talk to someone at CN to make sure the heavy equipment they've brought in for the cleanup had been washed beforehand.
"There's clubroot and a lot of weed species that they could have brought in with those machines," he said.
"They came onto my land with a bunch of machines with no permission, and I'd like to know … Were they cleaned before they came on my land?"
Abecassis said CN does not have an estimate on how long the cleanup effort will take.
A spokesperson from Manitoba Sustainable Development said there is no risk of contamination to the Assiniboine River as a result of the spill and a number of provincial agencies are involved in the response to the derailment.
With files from Jade Markus