Apache Canada Ltd. is facing charges for a 2014 pipeline spill near Whitecourt, Alta., the energy regulator said Monday.
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) said there’s a maximum penalty of $2.5 million in relation to five counts for contraventions of the Pipeline Act and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
An Apache Canada pipeline leaked about 1.9 million litres of produced water into a nearby creek about 40 km northwest of Whitecourt on Jan. 21, 2014.
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AER said this is the third penalty in the past seven months Apache is facing related to pipeline spills.
“In October 2015, charges were laid against Apache for a pipeline spill approximately 33 km from Zama City that occurred in the fall of 2013. And on July 7, 2015, the AER directed Apache to address issues with its pipeline integrity management system,” AER said in a statement.
“The fine and four orders were a result of an AER investigation into the company for its failure to follow provincial legislation and AER requirements.”
When asked if it was taking steps to improve its pipeline safety, Apache Canada said in a statement it doesn’t comment on legal matters before the courts.
“Apache takes its environmental responsibility very seriously,” the statement said. “Pipeline integrity on our gathering systems is a critical component of meeting that responsibility and Apache has a robust Pipeline Integrity Management System in place to mitigate the risk of future pipeline incidents.”
The first court appearance for Apache Canada is set for Feb. 9 in Whitecourt.
Whitecourt is located about 180 km northwest of Edmonton.
READ MORE: How does Apache’s 9.5 million litre Zama City spill stack up?