Alberta Sweetgrass Banner Image

Charges laid against Plains for largest oil spill in recent history

Author: 
Compiled by Shari Narine
Volume: 
20
Issue: 
6
Year: 
2013

Plains Midstream Canada ULC is facing three counts under the province’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act in relation to the largest spill in the province in 35 years, which occurred on Lubicon Cree traditional territory in April 2011. A ruptured pipeline leaked 28,000 barrels of crude oil and contaminated more than three hectares of beaver ponds and muskeg in a densely forested area. The Energy Resources Conservation Board said the company had inadequate leak detection and failed to test its emergency response plan. Nikki Booth, spokesperson for Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, said the charges were laid as a result of the department’s two-year investigation into the spill, which the province has now wrapped up. Plains Midstream is charged with releasing a substance that damages the environment, failing to take reasonable measures to repair, remedy or confine the impact of the substance in an appropriate amount of time, and failing to clean up the substance to prevent further environmental impact. The maximum penalty for each violation is $500,000, but the court may consider other options.

Related Content