||Train derailments dramatically increasing in Canada
|CN given strict deadlines on Wabamun clean-up
Alberta's Environment Minister uses ripe language of CN's mismanagement
|August 15, 2005
Alberta Environment gave CN a deadline of noon today (August 15th) to contain the remaining oil that was spilled into Lake Wabamun,
located just west of Edmonton, following a derailment of 45-railcars on August 3rd. The company must also adhere to other deadlines or
face prosecution if they fail to comply.
CN has to provide Alberta Environment with an initial land remediation plan, and has until Tuesday, August 16th to provide a cleanup
plan for the shoreline of Lake Wabamun as well as a short-term monitoring plan by Thursday, August 18th.
Over the coming week, the company has also been directed to establish long-term plans for water surface management, remediation,
monitoring, communications, and detailed reports to residents within a one-kilometre radius of the accident site as to their clean up
efforts to date.
CN has been widely criticized in the media for their lackluster approach on the environmental damage and overall handling of the
situation. This disaster has been a media nightmare for Canada's largest railway, who most have accused of being woefully slow in
understanding the scope of the accident and feelings of those directly affected by it.
Alberta Environment Minister Guy Boutillier expressed frustration with CN during an interview on CBC Television's The National, where
he stated: "I'm pissed off with CN's handling of the oil spill at Lake Wabamun." Boutillier reportedly called CN's Chief Executive Officer
Hunter Harrison and used "ripe language" in expressing his concerns and frustration with CN over their complete mismanagement of
CN's President and CEO issued a public apology to the residents of Alberta and Lake Wabamun.
CN may face fines and legal sanctions from the Province of Alberta, as well as the Federal Government. Additionally, based on the huge
property and environmental damage that's been reported, CN will also be facing several lawsuits from property owners. The total bill
could well run into the millions.
An investigation is also being conducted by the province's labour standards watchdog. Alberta Occupational Health and Safety was
investigating the working conditions of CN employees who have been cleaning up the site. Concern was raised over CN not disclosing
to both their employees and the public that a potentially cancer-causing chemical leaked from one of the 45-cars.
CN waited four days before disclosing this important health issue.
The investigation by Alberta Environment also continues.