With an environmental charge now pending against Husky Energy Melfort’s mayor hopes better regulations and safety practices are instituted to prevent further “catastrophes.”
The company was charged with one count under the Environmental Management and Protection Act, 2010 (EMPA) on Tuesday for their alleged role in the spill that allowed 225,000 litres of oil into the waterway. Local drinking water comes from the river through a SaskWater line. Mayor Rick Lang said he holds no ill will toward the company and hopes stronger pipeline policies can emerge from the incident.
“I understand it was an accident but there is always some fallout from that,” he told northeastNOW Thursday. “When there is an issue with something even if it was an accident there is some ramifications that come from that. Hopefully what evolves is these types of issues don’t happen.”
The city of Melfort was able to use a secondary water source during the cleanup process. Up until the 1980s the city drew surface water from a region near Eagle Creek. The pipeline structure was still in place allowing residents an alternate water source. The city did see issues once the level decreased to a point where potable water trucks were sent to the community with Husky Energy covering that expense. Lang said the company was upfront by assuming responsibility.
“They were very fair with stepping forward and taking the blame and making sure the consequence was mitigated as much as possible,” Lang said.
Almost 60,000 people’s drinking water was impacted by the spill.
The charge Husky is now facing carries a maximum fine of $1 million. Husky will appear in Lloydminster provincial court.
With files from Bryan Eneas and Canadian Press
On Twitter: @ClarkStork
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