Lubicon Lake Nation Leadership Investigate Oil Spill Location in their Traditional Territory

LUBICON LAKE NATION: LITTLE BUFFALO, AB, May 6 /CNW/ - Lubicon Lake Nation Chief Bernard Ominayak and Councillor Bryan Laboucan flew over their Nation's territory on Thursday afternoon to determine the extent of the damage caused by last week's oil spill.  Approximately 4.5 million litres of oil has leaked onto their land.

"We are going to continue to monitor the situation," Chief Ominayak said, noting that the spill seems to be contained at this time and that cleanup efforts are well under way.  "Duck lines have been erected over the oil ponds along with noise makers to keep birds from landing in the spill area," said the Chief.

Lubicon government officials observed that a border fence had been erected around the entire site to prevent land animals from entering the area.  While these measures addressed some of the LLN government's concerns regarding the potential for ongoing harm to wildlife in the area, the Nation's representatives noted that there was still a strong odour of crude oil and a cloud in the air above the spill site.

The leadership continues to advance their concerns to both the Environmental Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) and Plains Midstream Canada.  Thursday evening, Chief Ominayak and Councillors met with ERCB to address the health and safety of Lubicon Lake Nation citizens and the impact of the spill on the Nation's territory.  Lubicon officials were cautiously optimistic about the results of that meeting.  ERCB reported to Chief and Council that air quality monitors at the spill site have not registered dangerous hydrocarbon levels and the air quality monitors outside the Little Buffalo School have registered no hydrocarbon levels at all.

ERCB officials said they would be issuing a recommendation to Northlands School Division that Little Buffalo School be tested for potential causes of odours and illness in light of the zero hydrocarbon count in that area. The well being of the children in the Nation is of particular concern to Chief and Council and they continue to monitor them closely.

"The ERCB has assured us that our citizens health and safety is not in jeopardy, however, medical personnel will remain stationed at the Lubicon Lake Nation office as a precautionary measure and citizens are encouraged to seek medical treatment if they are feeling ill," Chief Ominayak said.

ERCB officials say that the initial phase of the clean up was on schedule and would be completed on Sunday.  The Lubicon Lake Nation government will continue to monitor the situation closely and anticipate a follow up meeting with representatives from Plains Midstream Canada in the very near future to discuss the next phase of the cleanup.

SOURCE Lubicon Lake Nation

For further information:

Garrett Tomlinson - Communications Coordinator
Lubicon Lake Nation
(780) 629-3945 Office
(780) 618-3794 Cell

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Lubicon Lake Nation

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