Spill from latest Sask. oil train derailment larger than thought

The Saskatchewan government says more oil spilled than previously thought during a train derailment earlier this month near the small hamlet of Guernsey. 

Citing new information from CP Rail, the government says roughly 1.6 million litres of diluted bitumen were spilled after a train jumped the tracks on Feb. 6, up from an initial estimate of 1.2 million litres.  

The estimate increased "because more oil spilled over the course of the emergency and crews were unable to stop leaks until the fires were extinguished," a government spokesperson said Thursday. 

The new amount is more than six times what was released into the North Saskatchewan River in the 2016 Husky Energy pipeline spill. 

It was the second crash and spill near Guernsey — a community about 100 kilometres east of Saskatoon — in less than two months. 

During the first, on Dec. 9, 2019, 1.5 million litres of oil was released. 

The government said both spills were contained to the railway and highway ditches and impacted "relatively small areas."

CP has said no waterways were affected in either crash.

"Next steps include the development of a site remediation plan to address all environmental impacts resulting from the derailment," the government spokesperson said. "Remediation and management of the derailment site is expected to take several months to complete."