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Energy Board approves clean-up plan
Enbridge has spent more than $4 million locally on clean-up of oil pipeline leak

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Thursday, September 8, 2011

The National Energy Board has approved Enbridge Pipeline Inc.'s clean-up plan for the leak site on the Norman Wells pipeline near Wrigley.

NNSL photo/graphic

As of Sept. 1, Enbridge had recovered approximately 810 barrels of oil and removed approximately 1,460 cubic metres of contaminated soil from the site of the oil leak on the Norman Wells pipeline near Wrigley. - photo courtesy Enbridge Pipelines Inc.

The plan details Enbridge's approach to cleaning up and remediating the site. The key objectives are to remove, in a timely manner, potential human health and environmental risks associated with the leak and to prevent further environmental impacts, said Gina Jordan, a spokesperson with Enbridge.

The document includes the soil remediation and groundwater treatment plans as well as the plans to excavate the site and then return it to as close to its natural state as possible, Jordan said.

The National Energy Board (NEB) gave its approval to the plan on Aug. 26. The document doesn't contain firm timelines. Work will continue at the site until Enbridge can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the NEB the objectives of the plan have been met, according to information provided by the board.

During the remediation process, Enbridge has been directed by the board to provide daily status updates as well as monthly consultation summaries with details on how consultation is progressing with regards to implementation of the plan. Enbridge has also been asked to provide a risk management plan for approval that outlines any residual soil and groundwater contamination that may require long-term mitigation and monitoring.

Enbridge continues to treat this situation as a top priority, said Jordan.

Based on the volume of oil collected to date and sampling of the site, located 50 kilometres south of

Wrigley, Enbridge still estimates the maximum volume of oil leaked is approximately 1,500 barrels.

As of Sept. 1, approximately 810 barrels of oil had been recovered and approximately 1,460 cubic metres of contaminated soil had been removed from the site and transported to disposal facilities in Zama, Alta.

In addition, approximately 700 cubic metres of contaminated water had been recovered.

Of that amount, 321 cubic metres had been shipped off-site for disposal and the remainder had or will be treated on the site and then discharged.

To date, Enbridge has spent more than $4 million on local contractors and workers including equipment, labour, temporary accommodations and supplies related to the leak. The company doesn't have a total estimate for clean-up costs at this time, said Jordan.

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