June 5, 2013 6:56 pm
Updated: June 6, 2013 11:57 am

Cleanup complete, one year after Gleniffer Lake oil spill


CALGARY- It’s been one year since an oil spill at Gleniffer Lake, which saw 3,000 barrels of oil flow into the popular vacation spot. Today, there is no sign of the environmental mess that was left in its wake.

A Plains Midstream pipeline upstream along the Red Deer River burst in 2012, spilling the oil which then flowed into Gleniffer Lake.

The company cleaned up the spill and the lake was reopened in just over three weeks.

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Locals say it hurt revenues as fewer buyers and renters visited the resort area, but the impact turned out to be short lived.

“The fears that we may have had are being wiped out now,” says Steve Toth, who is trying to sell his home at the resort. “We have seen more activity, with people looking [to buy]”

Cottagers say the cleanup actually made for better boating, since remediators removed branches and debris.

Officials with the government and Plains Midstream plan to return to the area this summer, to assess the success of the cleanup.

“We committed to stakeholders that we would remain in the area until the release had been cleaned up, and we’ve done our best to expedite these efforts and minimize impacts to area residents,” says Stephen Bart, Vice President, Crude Oil Operations. “We’ll continue to work with those impacted by the release, and monitor the area going forward.”

The company says inspections carried out this spring found no contamination. Environmental staff also found good regrowth of vegetation and a wide diversity of wildlife typical for the area.

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