Al­berta energy, en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ters trou­bled by pipeline spill


Al­berta's energy and en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ters say they're trou­bled by a huge pipeline spill that was dis­cov­ered in the oil­sands re­gion last week.

Marg McCuaig-Boyd and Shan­non Phillips toured the cleanup site 35 kilo­me­tres south­east of Fort McMur­ray, along with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from a nearby abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­nity.

Both min­is­ters say they have con­fi­dence in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­der­way by the Al­berta Energy Reg­u­la­tor, an arms-length watchdog.

The rup­tured year-old pipeline at Nexen Energy's Long Lake oil­sands site spilled about five mil­lion litres of bi­tu­men, sand and pro­duced wa­ter over a 16,000-square me­tre area.

Phillips says de­spite the event, pipe­lines are still the safest way to trans­port petroleum prod­ucts.

By­ron Bates, a coun­cil­lor with the Fort McMur­ray 468 First Na­tion, says some mem­bers of his com­mu­nity were so dis­turbed by the spill they couldn't watch news cov­er­age of it.

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