Nunavut Post

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Citizens report unusual circumstances on Mackenzie River following the Imperial Oil spill 

Nunavut

Key takeaways: 

  • Citizens of the downstream community report witnessing a fuel-like glow on the water surface.
  • Fort Good Hope is located downstream of Norman Wells. 

Some citizens of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., state they’ve spotted surface pollutants on the Mackenzie River after Imperial Oil reported a spill last week from a produced water line at its Norman Wells, N.W.T., operation. 

“We’re all worried since I know I noticed something in the water,” stated Jim Tobac, a local of Fort Good Hope. “Someone went by it with a boat, and it looked like oil or something.”

Fort Good Hope is located downstream of Norman Wells. 

Tobac said that when the neighborhood heard that there was potentially a spill in the Mackenzie River, people began drawing their fishing nets from the water. 

Also, he said it’s problematic for the community because their drinking water is from the river.

Imperial Oil estimates that 55 cubic meters (55,000 liters) of produced water was spilled earlier. Produced water can have dissolved chloride and hydrocarbons.

Also read: Nunavut neighborhoods weigh in on Baffinland production growth

Some citizens of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., state they’ve spotted surface pollutants on the Mackenzie River after Imperial Oil reported a spill last week from a produced water line at its Norman Wells, N.W.T., operation

According to a report from the Canada Energy Regulator Friday, Imperial Oil is still considering the condition. 

Even though the review is not yet done, the regulator added that there are “no threats to people in Norman Wells or downstream communities.”

No details have been provided on what drove the spill.

Tobac also lately completed a three-and-a-half-hour journey along the Mackenzie River to Norman Wells. It is a trip he has made numerous times.

“Usually, you see black ducks and baby geese all on the river like that. And you see wildlife on the coast sometimes, but there’s definitely nothing this time,” he stated.

“This was the first time in my life I have not noticed a bird, not actually a sandpiper, not even a seagull on the Mackenzie.”

Tobac stated that not witnessing any wildlife along the Mackenzie River worried him.

Source – CBC News

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