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Mar 25, 2015

13:29:18 GMT--Environment Pollution - North-America - Canada

EDIS Number: ED-20150325-47483-CAN

Date / time: 25/03/2015 13:27:34 [UTC]

Event: Environment Pollution

Area: North-America

Country: Canada

State/County: Province of Manitoba

Location: Cromer

Number of Deads: N/A

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: Moderate


About 30,000 litres of crude oil hit the ground Monday after surface equipment malfunctioned near the village of Cromer in southwestern Manitoba, according to oil company Corex Resources. Rob Crawford, environment health and safety manager at Corex, said crews are on-site working through tough conditions to ensure the oil is contained. "Response operations were as quick as the leak was discovered,"àCrawford said Tuesday. "There was a small trickle going down the lease road that pooled in a low area, but that's being scraped up at this point and all impacted soils have been transferred to a storage cell on-site so we can access it." Crawford said contaminated soil is being stored on location until it can be shipped to a landfill. The fact the spill occurred on the lease is helping the cleanup, as much of the area is covered by an impermeable clay. While the exact cause of the spill won't be known until a full investigation is performed, Crawford said it appears an O-ring near the separator -- which splits the oil and water into two streams -- was pinched, causing a leak. "We strive to have no fluid hit the ground, but it does happen in operational situations like this," Crawford said. "The primary concern is to contain any type of impact so it mitigates any remediation that we're going have to put in place." Harv Jacobsen, superintendent with Corex, said the part that sprung a leak was replaced last week. "The guys were there the day before and it wasn't spraying, so it happened at some time through the night,"àsaid Jacobsen, who estimates the operating pressure on the line to be approximately 80 pounds per square inch. No environmentally sensitive areas were identified in the spill area, according to a provincial spokesman. "The spill fluids were quickly contained, fluid removal is being conducted by use of a vacuum truck and removal is nearly completed,"àthe spokesman said Tuesday. "A clay containment cell has been constructed to temporarily hold contaminated solids, which will be removed to a licensed waste facility... The site will be entered into the Manitoba Rehabilitation program, creating a responsibility for the company to fully rehabilitate the site." It's the second industry spill in southwestern Manitoba in the last two months after an emulsion line break was discovered near Waskada on Feb. 5 by an aerial surveillance plane hired by Tundra Oil and Gas. That spill dumped a large quantity of saltwater and bitumen into the soil, affecting 2.5 acres of farmland.

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