Report Clears Alberta Officials After Oilsands Leak Went Unreported For 9 Months

"Nearby Indigenous communities were not notified of Imperial Oil’s months-long Kearl oilsands leak. First Nations say the energy regulator is ‘not blameless’ despite a new report finding it did no wrong".

"A review commissioned by the board of directors at the Alberta Energy Regulator says there are no concerns with the way the organization handled seepage and a subsequent spill at Imperial Oil’s Kearl oilsands mine in northern Alberta.

The incident and the regulator’s response sparked outrage, particularly among nearby Indigenous communities.

The report found “the [Alberta Energy Regulator] followed the existing policies, standards, procedures and/or processes” in its handling of the leak and spill. There were “no areas of non-compliance,” the report found, however it did note some policies and procedures, as well as “manuals for emergency response” were out of date and did not live up to the expectations of stakeholders, including Indigenous communities.

The Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation is one of the Indigenous communities downstream of the Kearl mine in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. The nation rejects the findings of the review."

Drew Anderson reports for The Narwhal September 27, 2023.

Source: The Narwhal, 09/28/2023