Saskatchewan is cleaning up after a second pipeline oil spill in less than a year.
The most recent spill took place 10 kilometres north of the community of Stoughton, east of Weyburn, on First Nations agricultural land.
The Ministry of Environment told media Monday it was notified late Jan. 21 of a pipeline breach that leaked 200,000 litres.
The spill is fully contained and the oil is not entering any waterways.
“Right now, that’s the evidence on the ground but until all the work’s done we won’t know for a hundred per cent but right now it looks like it is contained to the low-area where the oil was discovered,” explained Doug MacKnight, with the ministry of the economy.
According to the province, the affected site is agricultural land on the Ocean Man First Nation reserve and contains a frozen slough.
The pipeline is owned and operated by Tundra Energy Marketing Inc. The company is leading the clean-up efforts, but there are two other major pipelines in the area.
“The company is required to remediate and reclaim that site back to it’s previous state so there is some work out ahead of the company in terms of doing that work,” MacKnight confirmed.
The province said work began Saturday involving vacuum trucks removing the surface oil. As of Monday, 173,000 litres had been removed.
The pipe is being excavated on Wednesday to determine the cause.
At this point, local air quality and wildlife have not been impacted.
The province confirms the petroleum and natural gas division of the ministry of the economy will be investigating the cause of the spill and will be onsite overseeing clean-up efforts and pipeline repairs.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada is the federal lead as the spill occurred on First Nation land.
Ocean Man First Nation Chief Connie Big Eagle was on site and said she will be kept apprised of the repair and remediation activities.
“First and foremost we want to make sure that our people are protected, our environment is protected and any sites – traditional or ceremonial – are all protected,” she said.
Big Eagle said the community’s relationship with Tundra has generally been positive.
“The dealings that we’ve had with them in the past have been pleasant and they have acted quickly in addressing this situation,” she said.
Last July, 225,000 litres of Husky oil spilled, some entered the North Saskatchewan River impacting the drinking water of 66,000 people.
The investigation into the Tundra pipeline spill has only just begun and it is too early to tell what caused this leak.