Alberta anger grows over oil spills

June 26, 2012 at 7:08 AM

EDMONTON, Alberta, June 26 (UPI) -- A coalition of concerned citizens in Alberta, Canada, launched an appeal for tougher pipeline laws following a series of oil spills in the region.

Don Bester, a director from the Alberta Surface Rights Group, was among those who supported an advertising campaign calling for a review of pipeline safety in the province.

He said conventional efforts directed at regulators and government ministers left landowners and environmental campaigners at a dead end.

"We're asking for an independent review of the regulations and the way we're handling these 40- or 50-year-old pipelines that are crossing our river systems," he was quoted by the Edmonton Journal as saying.

A series of oil pipelines ruptured in the region. One of the most recent, the Rangeland pipeline system, spilled 3,000 barrels of oil into the provincial Red Deer River. The pipeline was built in the 1960s.

National officials said regulations require pipeline companies to conduct annual reviews of pipelines that cross waterways.

Canadian Energy Minister Ken Hughes had said pipeline laws are sufficient. Alberta Premier Alison Redford said, however, she had no formal objection to an examination of pipelines in the region.

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