Canadian Manufacturing

Husky pays First Nation compensation for July oil spill

Oil mixed with a lighter hydrocarbon was detected leaking from Husky's pipeline into the river near Maidstone, Sask., on July 21


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MELFORT, Sask.—A Saskatchewan First Nation has received compensation from Husky Energy due to damage from its oil spill in July.

Husky spokesman Mel Duvall says the James Bay Cree First Nation has been given money, but he wouldn’t say how much.

Duvall says Husky had oil-sniffing dogs working last week along the North Saskatchewan River and they did find evidence of oil.

The First Nation, about 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert, had ordered residents to not swim, hunt, fish or gather along the Saskatchewan River after oil showed up Aug. 21.

Up to 250,000 litres of oil mixed with a lighter hydrocarbon was detected leaking from Husky’s pipeline into the river near Maidstone, Sask., on July 21.

Several cities which take their drinking water from the river were told two weeks ago that water from the river was safe to use.

North Battleford, Prince Albert and Melfort had to shut off their intakes and find alternate water sources after the oil spill.

Almost 150 animals were found dead, mostly fish and small mammals.

It’s still not clear what caused the spill. The government has said a full investigation is expected to conclude this month.

“Nobody ever thought we’d have a disaster on the river. Dealing with this, it’s going to have a long-term effect. Husky has to be here, not only this year, next year (but) years to come,” said Chief Wally Burns.


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