Farmers still counting losses in oil spill

SUNDRE — A Sundre area farmer feels his hands are tied following a Plains Midstream Canada pipeline leak.

SUNDRE — A Sundre area farmer feels his hands are tied following a Plains Midstream Canada pipeline leak.

Dennis Overguard, 60, is just one landowner who is butting heads with the company in the wake of the Red Deer River oil spill.

On June 7, up to 3,000 barrels (475,000 litres) of light sour crude oil was released into the Red Deer River from Plains Midstream Canada pipeline about one km north of Sundre.

Overguard and his family run a ranch 10.5 kms downstream from the Red Deer River and about 12 kms north of Sundre.

He says approximately 250 acres of his land for pasturing 500 head of cattle is now unusable.

“The way the river was flooding in June and the way the currents were swirling and taking all the backwaters, the oil stayed on top and flooded along our place,” he said.

The family’s cattle are now residing on hay land.

But to make matters worse, Overguard and his wife Joanne are staying at a bed and breakfast as he recuperates from a heart attack he suffered earlier in May. He says the fumes and contamination near his home are too much for him to take.

Plains Midstream Canada personnel continue to access his land but without an access agreement and Overguard feels they are trespassing.

He says the company contacted him last week with an agreement that would allow unlimited access to his property.

Much like other landowners, the Overguards continue to receive no form or very little compensation.

Overguard believes he has lost about $6 million in damages from a reduction in property value and loss of land from his multi-million dollar ranching operation.

“There is a total lack of respect for landowners,” he said.

Meanwhile the Sundre community came together on Monday to show support for the tourism industry with a rally to raise the area’s profile on Monday.

The event was organized by the Sundre and District Chamber of Commerce and Wild Rose riding Conservative MP Blake Richards.

At the end of June, chamber president Sherry Tytkanych had noted that businesses were contacting them because their clients were cancelling reservations to campsites and other activities such as whitewater rafting and fishing.

Richards said that there has been a misunderstanding and the area has the same recreational pursuits. He wouldn’t say if Plains Midstream Canada should bare some financial burden to help promote the tourism industry.

Officials from Plains Midstream Canada were not present at the rally.

On Friday the company reported that 275 personnel were on site maintaining the booms, cutting and bagging vegetation, picking up shoreline debris, skimming oil and replacing absorbent pads.

“We understand our continued clean-up operations in the area may cause some disturbance to residents,” the Plains update stated.

Just Posted

Police say a woman in the Red Deer area may be in danger

Public’s assistance is urgently requested

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

B.C. man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank arrested in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police have arrested a B.C. man who is… Continue reading

Most Read