Mock oil spill on the Beatton River tomorrow

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

This year, it will be held on the Beatton River just below the Devon facility. WCSS' Gail O'Neill explains this will give companies experience in more shallow water, which requires different equipment than a deeper river.

"We won't have any boats out there, but most often for shallow [water] it's a little bit different than on a big river, and hopefully easier to contain."

In previous years the company has used red dyed Canola Oil to simulate the spill, but after concerns from Alberta, it now uses colourful plastic balls. An instructor will be there to train the representatives on how to use the equipment, explaining first on dry land, then in the water. At the end of the day there will be an assessment on the exercise, and members can give feedback and make suggestions for new equipment.

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Western Canadian Spill Services offers their equipment at no charge to members; they only have to pay for the trucking. The mandatory exercise is to ensure the companies can handle it on their own, should the need arise. The drill is offered every year, sometimes with different settings, like in a lake or on dry land.

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