Speed Reads

bad news for the environment

More than 50,000 gallons of oil spill near sacred land in Canada

More than 52,800 gallons of oil have leaked onto the Ocean Man First Nation reserve in Saskatchewan, and investigators are trying to determine the source of the spill.

"We need to, obviously, as part of that investigation make that determination of when exactly the leak did take place and whether the monitoring system that the company employs is adequate enough," Dustin Duncan, the province's energy minister, said Tuesday. After smelling the scent of oil for a week, a resident notified the tribal chief on Friday, and they contacted Tundra Energy Marketing Ltd., which has a line adjacent to the spill. Several different energy companies have assets in the area, and while Tundra is leading cleanup efforts, the company has not confirmed that its pipeline is the one leaking. There are no homes near the spill, but it is close to a cemetery on what is is considered sacred land.

"It just raises the issue yet again, that if you are going to build these pipelines, you're going to be placing communities and water and land at risk," Gretchen Fitzgerald, national program director at the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, told Reuters. In the United States last year, former President Barack Obama rejected the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota because it involved drilling through land sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux and under their water supply, but on Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order allowing it to advance.