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6 Tuesday July 28 2015 ENVIRONMENT PIPELINE SPILLS THAIDENE NENE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT NOW The Government of the NWT is hosting a series of public consultations about protecting Thaidene Nene. Please attend and voice your support for permanent protection. For more information visit HAY RIVER July 28 700 930 pm Ptarmigan Inn FORT RESOLUTION July 29 700 930 pm Community Hall Photos wanted for 2016 Fort Smith Pet Desk Calendar Filling up fast Get your pictures in soon Ifyouwouldliketohavephotosofyour petstakenarrangementscanbemade. Please call Chris at 872-5547. Becauseofthehighvolumeofrequests we are on a first come first in basis. Special consideration will be made for pets not in previous calendars. Please submit photos of living pets only. Thereisnofeetohavephotosinthecalendar. If you have any questions or need more information please call Chris at 872-5547 or email Deadline is August 31 This ad sponsored by the Northern Journal Apache ned for pipeline spill near Zama City in 2013 Energy Regulator forces company to audit its pipeline network ENVIRONMENT PIPELINE SPILLS By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Two years after a pipeline leaked over 15 million litres of toxic wastewater into the bo- real wetland near Zama City in northwestern Alberta the Alberta Energy Regulator AER has ned Apache Canada Ltd. 16500 and ordered an audit of the companys pipeline infrastructure. Apache reported four pipeline leaks on its properties in northern Alberta between May 2013 and January 2014 the largest of which began in May but was only noticed a month later after becoming one of the worst pipe- line spills in North American history leak- ing 15.4 million litres of wastewater onto 42 hectares of muskeg. The wastewater contained heavy metals salts and hydrocarbons. Earlier this month the AER issued the maximum ne the company could face under the law for the spills along with four orders designed to address the integrity of Apaches pipeline management system. These directed actions are a result of a comprehensive investigation into the com- pany for its failure to follow provincial legislation and AER requirements the reg- ulator announced. TheAERinvestigationrevealedthatApache lackedadequateprocedurestrainingcommu- nications and supervision that contributed to the failure to detect evaluate and take action concerningthepipelineleakandsubsequentre- leaseofproducedwaterstatestheAERsreport. AccordingtotheAERApachewasissuedatotal of12high-riskenforcementactionsbetweenJan. 23 2009 and Nov. 6 2013 for noncompliances withpipelineregulations.Sixpipelineincidents causedlossordamagetopubliclandsorhadpo- tentialtoimpacttheenvironment.Thecompany also failed to appropriately report and remedi- ate some of the sites as requested by the AER. Apart from the monetary administrative penalty the company must also complete a third-party audit of its pipeline integrity management system by Dec. 31 2015 and implement the resulting recommendations by Dec. 31 2016. Apache must also submit a plan to prevent future leaks for all of its high-risk pipelines to the AER for approval by July 31 2015 for implementation by Sept. 31 2015. Recom- mendations specic to the Zama operating eld must be implemented by Dec. 31 2015. The company is also required to submit a communications plan that includes at least monthly progress updates on its website. Further enforcement actions are also a pos- sibility according to the AER which is still investigating two other incidents involving the company. Apache spokesperson Paul Wyke said in a news release that the company takes en- vironmental and regulatory responsibility very seriously. Pipeline integrity on our gathering sys- tems is a critical component of meeting that responsibility he said. An Apache pipeline leak near Zama City in northwestern Alberta leaked 15.4 million litres of contaminated wastewater into the boreal muskeg in 2013. PhotocourtesyofApacheCanada Nexen pipeline could have been leaking for two weeks company By MEAGAN WOHLBERG A pipeline that leaked ve million litres of bitumen emulsion into the Alberta mus- keg could have been doing so for two weeks without detection according to the company. NexenEnergyofcialsgavemediaatourofthe spillsitesouthofFortMcMurrayonWednesday revealing that the last time the company could conrm the pipeline was in working order was on June 29 when it was being cleaned. A contract worker walking along the pipe- line noticed the spill on July 15 just over two weekslater.Thecompanysautomatedleakde- tection system had failed to catch the breach. RonBaileyseniorvice-presidentofCanadian operations for the Chinese-owned Nexen said the company is still investigating the cause of the break in the relatively new pipeline that wasinstalledundergroundusingmoderndou- ble-walled pipe in pipe technology in 2014. The Alberta Energy Regulator is also in- vestigating the cause of the rupture and the detecting systems failure which the com- pany said could take months. Bailey said he is unsure how long the re- mediation will take but indicated it will be easier to clean up in the winter. The spill dumped approximately 31500 barrels of bitumen sand and produced waste- water onto 16000 square-metres of area composed predominantly of muskeg largely limited to the pipeline corridor. The contaminated area is 10 km away from FortMcMurrayFirstNationreservelandwhere leadersexpressedextremeconcernaboutthe impacts on the boreal wetland and connected water table and demanded more information. The First Nations leadership was given a tour of the spill and cleanup on Friday invit- ing provincial ofcials to join. Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig- Boyd who attended the tour called the spill unacceptable. The development of our resources has to be done in a way that is responsible and sus- tainable she said. We also agree that First Nations need to be involved as partners in emergencies like this. A key focus of the dis- cussions we are having today concern where gaps in communication with the Fort McMur- rayFirstNationmayhaveoccurredandhowwe can better work together to close those gaps. Nexen began posting daily updates of the cleanup work being done last week at the re- quest of the AER which issued an environ- mental protection order against the company. That order included the need for wildlife management cleanup and communications plans among other items. The company is working with the Alberta government to develop a protection plan for wildlife which will be made public after ap- proval by the AER. One dead duck has been found at the spill site. The company has since installed a num- ber of deterrents including fences wildlife cannons efgies and bird agging to prevent wildlife from accessing the area. Nexens Long Lake oilsands operation uses steam-assisted gravity drainage technology an in situ technique that injects high pressure steamundergroundtomeltbitumenandpump it to the surface. The pipeline was carrying the mixture to the renery for upgrading. PhotocourtesyofNexenEnergy Crews are working 247 to clean up a Nexen pipeline spill south of Fort McMurray.