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Prince Albert starts billing Husky for costs of oil pipeline spill in river

The city’s mayor has ‘no doubt’ the oil giant will pay up


 
Oil is seen on the North Saskatchewan river near Maidstone, Sask on Friday July 22, 2016. Husky Energy has said between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of crude oil and other material leaked into the river on Thursday from its pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Oil is seen on the North Saskatchewan river near Maidstone, Sask on Friday July 22, 2016. Husky Energy has said between 200,000 and 250,000 litres of crude oil and other material leaked into the river on Thursday from its pipeline. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — The City of Prince Albert has starting billing Husky Energy for the cost of dealing with the effects of the company’s oil pipeline spill.

The city says it has spent “millions of dollars” in the three weeks since the pipeline leaked up 250,000 litres of heavy oil and chemicals into the North Saskatchewan River.

The spill forced the city to close its water treatment plant intake in the river and scramble to hook up new sources of water for thousands of people in the region.

The city is seeking compensation for staff salaries, contractors and materials and for employees laid off due to the temporary closure of facilities such as the Kinsmen Water Park.

Mayor Greg Dionne says many of these workers are students who need the cash for school.

The city has hired the financial firm Deloitte to help its claims and Dionne says he is confident Husky will pay up.

“We have no doubt that Husky will then reimburse us for the lost hours to our staff and facilities during the oil spill situation,” Dionne said Wednesday in a release.

A city official said the bills keep coming and could continue to do so through the winter.

There is no word on when the city will be able to resume using its North Saskatchewan River water intake valve.

The cause of the oil spill is under investigation.


 

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