Husky Oil Spill Assessment – Idle No More

Independent Primary Assessment of Husky Energy Oil Contamination into Saskatchewan River Report Released Today

OilSpill_o.jpgThe report is the result of collaboration between Idle No More, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Council of Canadians, the National Aboriginal People’s Circle, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (Prairie Region), and others, in response to the lack of independent information surrounding the July 20, 2016 Husky Energy oil spill. The report covers basic information on oil spills in waterways, potential risks to health and ecology, interpretation of lab results, and recommendations for future actions and monitoring.

The report was written by independent scientists from E-Tech International and Resurgence Environmental as a response to communities concerned with the secrecy and slow response of Husky Energy after the North Saskatchewan River oil spill. The report provides information on the behaviour and health risks associated with the spill, a critical analysis of the inadequate response by Husky, and sediment sample results that show the contamination has reached at least as far as the Cecil Ferry downstream of Prince Albert.

Summary of Findings: 

  1. Husky’s late reaction to the July 20th, 2016 oil spill (14 hour delay) allowed time for the spill to travel much further downstream than if they had reacted immediately. It also allowed time for the heavier components of the diluted crude oil to attach to sediment particles and submerge into the water column and to the bottom of the North Saskatchewan River.
  2. Husky Energy has not been transparent with its sampling data or cleanup plans.
  3. Husky Energy did not warn residents of the health risks associated with evaporating BTEX-group chemicals and other volatile compounds that are present in peak concentrations in the first 48 hours after a spill. Husky should have warned residents (especially children and pregnant women) to stay away from the river immediately after the spill.
  4. E-Tech/RE samples showed the presence of BTEX chemicals and PAHs at the Tobey Nollet Bridge and the Cecil Ferry downstream of Prince Albert. The specific PAHs found at Cecil Ferry were all found near the spill site at Tobey Nollet Bridge, indicating that the hydrocarbons at Cecil Ferry are very likely the result of the July 20th Husky spill.
  5. Infrastructure improvements need to be a priority in order to prevent further spills. Husky should disclose all of its pipeline inspection data, its pipeline maintenance schedule, and the ages of all sections of pipeline. Soil stability also needs to be considered an integral component of pipeline stability and geotechnical data near pipeline supports should be provided by Husky.
  6. The James Smith Cree Nation needs to be supported in its effort to mitigate and monitor the damage to their traditional territory. Funds should be made available to communities interested in conducting their own mitigation and monitoring efforts. E-Tech/RE can assist in training local environmental monitors.

The full E-Tech International and Resurgence Environmental report can be found here:


For more information contact: or
Ricardo Segovia, 604-704-1232