Discussions are being had within the Ministry of Environment as to whether any charges will be laid against Husky Energy.
On July 21 up to 250,000 litres of oil spilled into the North Saskatchewan River impacting the drinking water of 69,000 people.
“It is something that is being discussed at this point. Right now it is just a little premature to be looking at that,” confirmed Kevin McCullum with the Ministry of Environment. “My focus right now has been on the science side of it and making sure the clean-up and operations are going well.”
Husky Energy, which has taken full responsibility for the oil spill, could face charges under the Environmental Management and Protection Act 2010 (EMPA).
There are different regulations and different cases under EMPA that lawyers will have to consider.
If an incident such as an oil spill were not remediated, under EMPA, the maximum penalty a company could face is $1 million a day.
As those discussions happen, on the ground, the work to clean-up the shoreline continues.
Now officials are doubling that effort with crews now working in both directions.
“They started 15 kilometres downstream from North Battleford and started working their way upstream,” explained McCullum. “It will give them a broader picture of the downstream impacts.”
So far six kilometres of shoreline downstream from the spill site has been raked and shoveled. And 13 kilometres has been washed.
Government is correcting an earlier number provided on wildlife deaths. Since the incident 69 animals have died, 33 fish, 26 birds and 10 mammals.