Oil spill leaves community with questions: Hughes

Elliot Lake – The oil spill near White River is raising anxiety for people in the area who are questioning the validity of the information they are receiving, according to Carol Hughes.

The MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing commented on the spill that occurred when 22 cars derailed about ten kilometers from White River Wednesday morning.  Initial reports suggested that only four barrels of oil had escaped, but CP has now confirmed that 400 barrels of light crude leaked under the snow, undetected.

“I was shocked when I saw the amount jump so dramatically over a one day period,” said Hughes who indicated she had been in touch with White River’s Mayor Angelo, Bazzoni.  “The mayor filled me in on how things are going on the ground and what the community reaction has been.”

Hughes says she will be in contact with CP to request a thorough briefing and will keep lines open with the municipality who will only determine what help they need as the situation unfolds.

“Certainly we are keen to learn about the nuts and bolts of the clean-up efforts,” said Hughes. “But there remain real concerns about the environmental implications.”

Hughes said people in the area will be looking for assurances from CP that the cleanup efforts will be thorough and that reporting on the incident and cleanup will be transparent.  

“The initial assessment significantly underestimated the situation so any announcements moving forward will be viewed under a microscope,” said Hughes.