Statement by Minister Guilbeault on ongoing spill situation at Imperial Oil’s Kearl Oil Sands Processing Plant and Mine
March 15, 2023 – Gatineau, Quebec
“The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, met yesterday evening with the Honourable Sonya Savage, Minister of Environment and Protected Areas for Alberta, regarding the ongoing spill situation at the Kearl Oil Sands Mine.
“Minister Guilbeault reiterated his commitment to take a collaborative approach to the situation.
“Minister Guilbeault raised the fact that Environment and Climate Change Canada enforcement officers have issued a Fisheries Act Direction to Imperial Oil that requires immediate action to contain the seep and prevent it from entering a fish-bearing waterbody. Enforcement officers will continue to attend the site, monitor cleanup, and collect more inspection information to determine Fisheries Act compliance. Minister Guilbeault underlined that Imperial Oil’s own stated failures of communication were unacceptable and have raised broader concerns regarding the efficacy of existing notification systems through Alberta (EDGE). Environment and Climate Change Canada will be closely engaged with the Alberta Energy Regulator to review Imperial Oil’s remedial action plan to ensure it complies with the Fisheries Act.
“Minister Guilbeault also introduced the idea of a joint federal-provincial-Indigenous working group, with participation from the oil companies, to address the immediate concerns around the Kearl Oil Sands Mine situation to restore trust and give transparency to all parties involved. This would include meeting on a regular basis to discuss remediation and containment plans, and improvements to the notification systems for ongoing incidents of spill or seepage. Details on the make-up and objectives of this working group will be developed soon.”
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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