Dismal safety record of company responsible for Peace River oil spill raises alarm bells for Greens

The dismal safety record of the company responsible for the oil spill near Peace River, Alberta last month is cause for serious alarm, said the Green Party today. Plains Midstream Canada, owner of the pipeline that leaked the oil, is a division of Plains All American, based in Houston, Texas. Plains All American was fined $3.25 million and forced to spend $41 million in crude pipeline upgrades in a 2010 settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency for 10 separate crude oil spills in violation of the Clean Water Act.

“Plains All American has an atrocious record, and is responsible for releasing at least 6,510 barrels of crude oil into bodies of water in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “Plains Midstream operated its pipeline in close proximity to Alberta communities and the spill is having a devastating effect on residents and the environment. Knowing the company’s record of major spills, what kind of monitoring and oversight of its activities took place in Canada? Were Canadian officials so lax that the company thought it could get away with hiding its past pollution?”

The release of nearly 30,000 barrels of oil into muskeg and wetlands near Peace River, Alberta, took place on April 29, yet the massive spill was not made public until after the May 2 federal election was over.

“The other unanswered question is whether officials tried to keep the Plains Midstream spill out of the news until after the election,” said Ms. May.