Advertisement

36 fish, 2 voles found dead in 1 week since pipeline leaks southwest of Edmonton

A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017.
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017. Les Knight, Global News

Since two pipeline leaks were reported on a Journey Energy line last week, a total of 36 fish and two voles have been found dead near the sites.

The incidents happened near Winfield, Alta., about 120 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) said Journey notified them June 28 of a release of about one cubic metre of crude oil. An inspector on scene believes that volume could be larger. That leak didn’t affect any bodies of water, AER confirmed Friday.

On June 29, another leak was discovered in the same area with an unknown amount of crude spilling out. The second leak impacted an unnamed creek that contains fish, and is a habitat for other wildlife like beavers, according to AER.

READ MORE: Crude oil pipeline has two leaks southwest of Edmonton 

On Saturday, a terrestrial biologist found two voles and 21 small fish dead “at the release area.” Then, the company said six small fish were found dead on Sunday, and Alberta Environment and Parks officials were notified. On Monday, Journey reported “deceased wildlife observed at the release site included nine small fish.”

Story continues below advertisement

That same day, the company said two beavers were live trapped and taken to a wildlife centre where they were found to be “in good health.”

In an update posted on its website Tuesday, Journey Energy said testing of surface water continued to show that hydrocarbons were not detected.

“This result continues to indicate dissolved hydrocarbons have not moved a significant distance from the release and into larger water bodies.”

A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017.
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017. Global News
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017.
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017. Global News
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017.
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017. Global News
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017.
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017. Global News
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017.
A Journey Energy pipeline suffered two leaks last week. They are approximately half a kilometre south of Winfield, Alta. July 3, 2017. Global News

Journey Energy said crews responded Thursday morning last week, and started recovering crude oil from water, sampling and testing the water and soil, installing spill control equipment and wildlife deterrents.

Story continues below advertisement

“The release is contained,” Journey spokesperson Alex Verge said Monday in an email to Global News. “We are primarily focused on the cleanup operation and we are making good progress.”

AER said volume estimates were expected from a consultant on Tuesday. Global News reached out to both AER and Journey Energy on Wednesday and is waiting for an update. A Journey spokesperson said it could take a few days to provide an amount.

“Impacted water and crude oil were recovered with both hand methods and mechanically with vacuum trucks. A limited volume of water and any recovered crude oil is being hauled offsite for disposal at an AER approved facility near Drayton Valley,” Journey said in an online update.

— With files from John Himpe, Newstalk 770