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Pipeline Spills 76,000 Gallons of Crude Oil Emulsion in Northern Alberta
By Carol Linnitt
A pipeline owned by Paramount Resources Ltd. released an estimated 100,000 liters (approximately 26,000 gallons) of crude oil and 190,000 liters (approximately 50,000 gallons) of produced water near Zama City, in northwest Alberta, according to an April 11 incident report filed with the Alberta Energy Regulator.
The release was discovered after company personnel looked into a low-pressure alarm from the company's leak detection system, the incident report states. The emergency status of the spill ended April 16.
The report says that although "the release was initially believed to be minor," further investigation shows the spill to be around 290,000 liters and has impacted an area of 200 meters (approximately 656 feet) by 200 meters.
"The pipeline was isolated and depressurized, and clean-up is underway," the incident report states. "No reported impacts to wildlife."
The cause of the spill is still under investigation, Paul Wykes, spokesperson with Paramount Resources, told DeSmog Canada.
The spill is located approximately 10 kilometers (approximately 6.2 miles) northeast of Zama City, Wykes said.
The remote pipeline is part of a network in the Zama area obtained by Paramount Resources when it acquired Apache Corp for $487 million in 2017.
In June 2013, a pipeline released 15.4 million liters of oil and toxic produced water into the muskeg, contaminating a 42-hectare (approximately 104-acre) span of boreal forest.
Apache pipeline spill, June 2013Apache Corp
"Every plant and tree died" James Ahnassay, chief of the Dene Tha First Nation, told the Globe and Mail at the time.
The spill, which continued undetected for nearly one month, was originally reported to be only 9.5 million liters in volume due to an inaccurate meter reading, the company said.
Produced water can contain hydrocarbons, salt, metals, radioactive materials and chemicals used in the oil extraction process.
An investigation later revealed the pipeline, which was only five years old at the time of the spill, cracked due to corrosion stress, caused by a pinhole leak. The company was later fined $16,500 for the spill and the Alberta Energy Regulator ordered a third-party audit of the company's aging pipeline infrastructure.
Oil and gas exploration has been occurring in the Zama area since the 1950s.
In October 2013, Apache announced it had detected another pipeline leak after it had released an estimated 1.8 million liters of oil, chemicals and contaminated water over a three-week period.
In a statement of facts agreed to by Apache concerning the 1.8 million liter spill, the company admitted it failed to install protective fencing around the pipeline and that evidence indicated a bison may have rubbed up against the pipe, crushing it.
Two additional Apache spills occurred between 2013 and 2014, one smaller spill near Zama and one near Whitecourt, Alberta, which released nearly 2 million liters of produced water.
It was later determined Apache failed to install proper pressure valves on the pipeline near Whitecourt.
In 2016 Apache pled guilty to violations of the Pipeline Act and the Environmental Enhancement and Protection Act and was fined $350,000 by the Alberta Energy Regulator.
In response to the April 11, 2018 spill, Paramount "immediately initiated its emergency response plan," Wykes said.
"A team of personnel is on site as containment, clean-up and delineation efforts continue. There is no danger to the public," he said.
Reposted with permission from our media associate DeSmog Canada.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Daisy Brickhill
Each morning, men living in fishing communities along Ghana's coastline push off in search of the day's catch. But when the boats come back to shore, it's the women who take over.
By Sam Nickerson
Links between excess sugar in your diet and disease have been well-documented, but new research by Harvard's School of Public Health might make you even more wary of that next soda: it could increase your risk of an early death.
The study, published this week in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, found that drinking one or two sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) each day — like sodas or sports drinks — increases risk of an early death by 14 percent.
Tyson Foods Recalls Nearly 70,000 Pounds of Chicken Strips After Customers Find ‘Fragments of Metal’
Tyson Foods is recalling approximately 69,093 pounds of frozen chicken strips because they may have been contaminated with pieces of metal, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Thursday.
The affected products were fully-cooked "Buffalo Style" and "Crispy" chicken strips with a "use by" date of Nov. 30, 2019 and an establishment number of "P-7221" on the back of the package.
"FSIS is concerned that some product may be in consumers' freezers," the recall notice said. "Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase."
Environmental exposure to pesticides, both before birth and during the first year of life, has been linked to an increased risk of developing autism spectrum disorder, according to the largest epidemiological study to date on the connection.
The study, published Wednesday in BMJ, found that pregnant women who lived within 2,000 meters (approximately 1.2 miles) of a highly-sprayed agricultural area in California had children who were 10 to 16 percent more likely to develop autism and 30 percent more likely to develop severe autism that impacted their intellectual ability. If the children were exposed to pesticides during their first year of life, the risk they would develop autism went up to 50 percent.
ExxonMobil could be the second company after Monsanto to lose lobbying access to members of European Parliament after it failed to turn up to a hearing Thursday into whether or not the oil giant knowingly spread false information about climate change.
The call to ban the company was submitted by Green Member of European Parliament (MEP) Molly Scott Cato and should be decided in a vote in late April, The Guardian reported.
Bernie Sanders has become the first contender in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary field to pledge to offset all of the greenhouse gas emissions released by campaign travel, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.