Twelve geese stained after Imperial’s 900L oil spill NW of Cold Lake, says AER

Last Updated: July 31, 2023By

Geese taken to Edmonton rehabilitation centre, says Imperial spokesperson. 

A flock of twelve Canada Geese became stained following a 900 litre crude oil spill into a process water lagoon at an Imperial Oil Cold Lake plant, says the Alberta Energy Regulator. 

Imperial says that as the “result of an upset with key process equipment” on Friday, July 21, approximately 0.9 m3 (900 litres/6 barrels) of oil was released to a waste lagoon.

This is located approximately 30 kilometres northwest from Cold Lake at their Mahihkan plant. 

The AER says it was observed that geese were stained due to landing and swimming in the impacted lagoon and have been transported to Edmonton. 

AER Field Inspectors were on-site Monday, July 24, and Tuesday, July 25 with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Lisa Schmidt, media relations for Imperial Oil, says the cleanup is underway and extra precautions are being taken.

“The 12 birds have been taken to an Edmonton rehabilitation centre, where they will be cleaned and assessed. We are monitoring their status and they are currently in good physical condition,” she said in a written statement. 

“The release has been stopped and cleanup of the oil is underway. The oil remained contained in the lagoon, which is lined. On July 24, Imperial personnel observed oiled Canadian Geese near the lagoon. Regulators were notified and visited the site and local communities were also notified.

“Additional wildlife mitigations have been put in place, including around the clock surveillance, decoys and flags, additional cannons. Additional wildlife fencing has been installed around lagoon perimeter. We regret this incident and will make every effort to learn and apply any preventative steps that are identified.” 

The Alberta Energy Regulator says they have directed Imperial to provide daily updates with respects to the release clean up, preventative measures taken to ensure no further adverse impacts to wildlife occur, and to ensure that Imperial meets all AER expectations.

The AER continues to monitor the situation, they said. 

you might also like