First Nation upset CNRL is draining lake to contain Alberta bitumen leak
Read this Sept. 28 story from CBC on the ongoing Alberta bitumen leak crisis near Cold Lake. The Common Sense Canadian has been following the unfolding disaster for several months now and there appears to be no resolution in sight, as CNRL’s operation has spilled over 1.5 million litres of bitumen thus far.
First Nations near Cold Lake, Alta., are angry an oilsands company is draining a lake close to their home without consulting them.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd is emptying two-thirds of the lake in an effort to stop a bitumen leak from its oil production plant.
Cecil Janvier, a member of the Cold Lake First Nation, says he has never supported oilsandsproduction.
“It shouldn’t have gotten this far,” he said. “It’s just common sense that something was bound to happen.”
More than 1.5 million litres of bitumen — a mixture of oil sands, heavy crude and water — has leaked on CNRL’s Cold Lake Site. So much, so fast, Alberta Environment ordered CNRL to drain the lake near Janvier’shome immediately.
Trevor Gemmell, with Alberta Environment, says it was an emergency, and because it was an order, no consultation with the First Nation was required.
“Most pipeline spills are over in a matter of days, but this has been going on for a while,” he said. “And the temporary measures that are in place right now that are containing the release, they won’t be effective during the winter months.”