Residents living along the Jackfish River fear oil and diesel fuel are leaking into the waterway, stemming from a massive cleanup effort underway at CN Railway's Hornepayne terminal.
CN is in its third year of cleanup of 350,000 litres of contaminants that spilled on their property during the refuelling of trains over several years.
Oily water is being pumped to a lagoon where the oil and water are separated and pumped into holding tanks. So far, the company claims to have recovered 70,000 litres of oil, and is beginning cleanup of a second contaminated section of the terminal. There is no timeframe on the cleanup. Inspections of the river by the Ministry of Environment show no evidence of dead fish or oil stains on the riverbanks, but residents along the Jackfish River still complain of a strong smell of oil. CN Rail installed a new fuelling system in Hornepayne that prevents future spills.