Rain hinders Alberta oil spill cleanup

June 15, 2012 at 7:58 AM

EDMONTON, Alberta, June 15 (UPI) -- More than 200 responders were collecting oil from the site of a spill in the Canadian province of Alberta before rains halted operations, a company said.

Operator Plains Midstream Canada reported a leak from its Rangeland pipeline system in Alberta province June 7. The pipeline wasn't in service at the time of the incident, though an estimated 3,000 barrels of oil leaked before the system was shutdown.

Plains said more than 200 personnel were at the site of the spill near Sundre, Alberta, using absorbent materials, skimmers and containment booms to collect spilled oil.

Activities were suspended, however, because of heavy rain, high winds and lightning.

Company officials said the Red Deer River was flooding at the time of the spill and most of the oil was isolated to a downstream reservoir.

Air and water quality was reported within safety requirements, said Plains.

The company this week said it was deploying vacuum pumps to get the residual oil out of the pipeline, built in the 1960s.

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