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NEWS: Oil pipeline spill puts at risk City of Red Deer’s drinking water

CBC reports, “Emergency crews are on the scene Friday cleaning up to 3,000 barrels of light sour crude oil released into Jackson Creek, a tributary of the Red Deer River (at the mouth of Gleniffe Lake) near Sundre (about 100 kilometres west of Red Deer). Cleanup crews are also working to contain the product that flowed into the nearby Gleniffer Lake and Reservoir, which feeds drinking water to several communities in the area (including the City of Lacombe).”

“There is no word yet on whether the spill will threaten the quality of drinking water downstream in Red Deer, but city officials are ‘monitoring the situation’. …Alberta Health Services spokesperson Bruce Conway said water sampling has been done at Gleniffer lake both prior to the dam and at the intake for the water treatment plant and lab results were expected late Friday.”

“Local resident Chris Huhn (says), ‘I just hope this beautiful lake isn’t going to be wrecked with this terrible spill’… He said he was shocked and wonders how much of the Gleniffer Reservoir is contaminated — especially since the nearby Dickson Dam was left open until the morning after the spill. …’This is the drinking water for the City of Red Deer and we’re gambling with it.'”

“Stephen Bart, vice president of crude oil operations for Plains Midstream Canada, said… ‘We don’t believe the release poses any potential threat to water quality and or residence,’ but added they will continue to monitor the situation. He said drinking water has been brought in for local resort operators.”

“The spill comes as the company continues to clean up an April 2011 pipeline spill of 4.5 million litres of oil northeast of Peace River, Alta.”

“For updates, (area) residents are being told to check the City of Red Deer’s website, reddeer.ca…”