HAY RIVER, Northwest Territories (July 22, 2022): Yesterday morning NTPC became aware of a small oil sheen that had appeared on the Mackenzie River in Inuvik. The sheen was not associated with a recent spill and is believed to be the result of historic contamination.
NTPC staff and contractors went to the area and installed absorbent hydrocarbon booms and pads around the perceived source of the release to capture the sheen and prevent it from spreading. Sandbags will be used to berm around the area and aid in identifying the source.
Upon discovery, the release was reported to the NWT 24-Hour Spill Report Line on July 21 and NTPC has been in communication with regulators from Environment and Climate Change Canada as well as GNWT Environment and Natural Resources.
The area suspected to be the likely source of the spill was active several decades ago for fuel off-loading and small spills were left in the ground during those years. High water levels currently in the area may have disturbed soil or abandoned pipes, releasing what appears to be oil into the river.
NTPC will continue with cleanup and remediation efforts, working closely with regulatory agencies. There has been no risk to public health identified as a result of this situation. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.
NTPC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NT Hydro, which in turn is 100 percent owned by the Government of the Northwest Territories.