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Alberta's environmental regulatory agency waited 11 days to tell the public about what many are calling the biggest wastewater spill in recent North American history.
The spill occurred about 12 miles northeast of Zama City in the Canadian province, and was first seen on June 1 by a plane belonging to Texas-based Apache Corp., the oil and gas company that operates the ruptured pipeline.
Although Apache notified Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board the same day, the agency waited until June 12 to release a public statement.
"There was no indication that [the spill] was even remotely close to the volume it turned out to be," Curran said. "You can't just eyeball it. It's basically a marsh, and it took [Apache] quite some time to delineate the area and determine the depth of the water."