Saskatchewan oil spill affects wildlife

Oil leaking from a damaged Husky Energy pipeline in Canada has resulted in the loss of at least 19 animals as of Thursday 28 July 2016, as confirmed by an environment protection officer. Affected species include birds, mammals and fish. Three live birds were admitted to Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation as of 24 July and Husky Energy continues to conduct searches for impacted wildlife.

On 20 or 21 July between 200,000 litre of an oil and chemical mix leaked from the pipeline into the North Saskatchewan River, which is a water source for several cities in the area, from the damaged pipeline. While the full impact of this spill will not be known for some time, the low numbers of oiled wildlife being found to date may be a positive indication of a somewhat limited impact on the local environment.

Containment booms are in place, some to protect drinking water intake sites, however the oil is expected to continue downstream to the Saskatchewan River Delta, at least in small quantities. Further major impacts are not expected.

Sources:

Husky clarifies timeline of North Saskatchewan River oil spill discovery. CBC News, Canada. Accessed online 29 July 2016
Oil-drenched birds treated near site of Husky pipeline leak in Saskatchewan. CBC News, Canada. Accessed online 29 July 2016
It’s not as bad as what people fear’: local expert on North Saskatchewan River oil spill. Global News Canada. Accessed online 29 July 2016