An oil spill near the water treatment plant in Lloydminster, Sask., was not a spill at all.
The Saskatchewan government said it was due to a tank-trailer illegally dumping around 2,000 litres of heavy crude into a ditch. The oil then entered the storm water system.
A city staff member saw the oil near the facility, which is northeast of Lloydminster on the Saskatchewan side of the border. City crews responded at around 12:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday.
“The city was quick to isolate the spill and to clean up and recover as much as possible,” Wes Kotyk, acting assistant deputy minister of the Saskatchewan Environmental Protection Division, said.
“The product that entered the storm sewer, there was no reporting of any of it exiting into any environmentally sensitive areas, so there’s no impacts to water bodies or other infrastructure,” Kotyk said.
No threat to the city’s drinking water supply is believed to exist.
It is being contained with sandbags.
Provincial officials are trying to determine who is responsible for the incident, for which possible fines range from one dollar to $1 million per day, Kotyk said.
No threat to the city’s water supply is believed to exist.
About 95 per cent of the oil was recovered as of Tuesday.
Remediation efforts could be done in “the next couple days,” according to Lloydminster Fire Department Chief Jordan Newton.
“There should be no permanent environmental damage. We are working to remediate all the environmental impact to return that area to what it once was,” Newton said.
Crews from the Ministry of Environment are investigating, along with Lloydminster RCMP and the Saskatchewan Water Security Agency.
A third-party environmental group is monitoring the situation as well, Newton said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Lloydminster’s public safety office at 780-874-3710.
With files from The Canadian Press