On Dec. 9, 2019, Melanie Loessl woke up to the sound of firefighters banging on her door, warning her of the 30-plus train cars that left the tracks just outside the property near Guernsey, 115 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon.
No one was hurt when the tanker cars crashed, releasing 1.5 million litres of crude oil into the environment.
Loessl said CP told her the land along her property would be remediated by the end of March. With a second derailment within two months occurring 10 kilometres away, she’s now concerned the timeline will be pushed back to the point of endangering her family farm.
In spring, her family puts animals out to pasture in the area. Water collects in a dugout just over one metre deep, which hydrates cattle through the summer.
“I’m very concerned for the water — for our animals and for our drinking,” she said.
CP sent a crew to test the water used for both animals and her family on Jan. 21, Loessl said.
“I wanted it done because sandy soil absorbs very quickly,” she said.
Two months after the crash, Loessl said she hadn’t received any test results and has been relying on bottled water.
When contacted by Global News, CP spokesperson Salem Woodrow said the company has been in contact with the landowner and CP continues to address her concerns
“Results for air, groundwater and drinking water quality tests relative to this property are within normal standards as prescribed by the Saskatchewan Environmental Code or other applicable guideline levels,” Woodrow said in a statement.
In its initial statements, the rail company said hazmat crews and emergency personnel were sent to the scene to minimize the impact on the surrounding area.
There was no impact on local waterways, according to CP.
In order to access the site, CP crews tore down the fence at the end of Loessl’s property. She said the company made no promises about covering the cost to repair it.
CP’s statement didn’t address Global News’ questions about financial compensation for the derailment and the subsequent response.
Woodrow said CP remains committed to returning the land to “its original condition.”
As remediation continued at Loessl’s property, crews fought flames 10 kilometres away at the most recent derailment in the Guernsey, Sask., area. The company said it will work closely with adjacent landowners.