Province considering pressing charges against Husky

Crews employ booms to protect a city water intake shortly after the spill last July. Herald file photo.

The provincial government has completed its investigation into the Husky pipeline incident from the summer, and it’s mulling whether to press charges against the company.

The incident, which took place on July 21, 2016, resulted in 225,000 litres of oil leaking from the pipeline. About 40 per cent of that ended up in the North Saskatchewan River. Several communities, including Prince Albert, were forced to find alternative ways to get drinking water as the spill contaminated the drinking water supply.

The clean-up has proven costly, and is anticipated to continue this spring, as snowmelt may reintroduce contaminants into the environment.

Since the final report has been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, it will not be released to the public until the decision as to whether to lay charges has been made.

The government did, though, provide a statement of its substantive findings:

The cause of the break was due to mechanical cracking in a buckle in the pipeline

The buckle was caused by ground movement on the slope, which occurred over many years, and was not a sudden, one-time event.

The volume of spilled material was about 225 cubic metres of oil blended with distillates.

For more on this story, please see the March 24 print or e-editin of the Daily Herald.