Wednesday, August 20th22.0°C
22938

Alberta hearings on oilsands odours wrap up, report due by March 31:Regulator

PEACE RIVER, Alta. - Hearings in northwestern Alberta about odours blamed on oilsands processing have wrapped up.

People in two communities near Peace River say Baytex Energy's operations are creating powerful gassy smells that are impossible to live with.

Alberta's energy regulator called an inquiry after getting numerous complaints.

The regulator says it will now review what it heard and make recommendations in a report by March 31.

Baytex spokesman Andrew Loosely says the hearings were a rewarding experience and the company looks forward to the regulator's findings.

One former resident, Alain Lebreque (LE-BRECK), says he had to move his family out of the area because the smells were making them sick.

In an affidavit filed with the Alberta Energy Regulator, one resident complained of symptoms that included severe headaches, dizziness, sinus congestion, muscle spasms, popping ears, memory loss, numbness, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, eye twitching and fatigue.

Baytex uses an unusual method of heating bitumen in above-ground tanks to extract oil.

Reid Glenn, a mechanical engineer, told the hearing that his personal examination of Baytex's operations suggested vapours were coming off those tanks.

"You can see the leaks on a cold day by where the steam's coming off the top of the tank,'' he said.

Geologists also described the nature of the bitumen that Baytex is drilling for, describing it as being high in sulphur. Sulphur is a common component of smelly chemicals.

Loosely has said the company is continuing its efforts to improve its practices and capture all vapours from the tanks.

Expert reports commissioned by the regulator suggest that Baytex's operations are the likeliest source of the odours.

Families affected by the smells have said they want the hearings to result in new rules for the oilpatch that deal specifically with bad odours. Current regulations only address toxic gases or gases that are released in enough quantity to be worth gathering and selling.

(CKYL, The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

17772


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15516.14+38.97
S&P CDNX996.38-1.18
DJIA16940.4720.88
Nasdaq4521.931-5.583
S&P 5001982.48+0.88
CDN Dollar0.9116-0.0027
Gold1290.00-5.10
Oil95.33+0.85
Lumber352.90+0.30
Natural Gas3.821-0.056

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.185-0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.22+0.02
Cantex0.065-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.261+0.001
Metalex Ventures0.0850.00
Russel Metals37.33+0.11
Copper Mountain Mining2.88+0.11
Colorado Resources0.18+0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.085+0.008
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.025-0.005
Mission Ready Services0.24+0.04

 



22416

FEATURED Property
15517975041 Redstem Street
5 bedrooms 3 baths
$475,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Cost of an Injury Lawyer

Let’s face it; nobody wants to pay for legal services if they do not have to, but if you have been injured in an accident you may have thought about hiring a lawyer to help you navigate your cla...


Going home to a bully!

Finally, after three months in New Brunswick, I am back home in the sunny Okanagan. It is a delight to be home and the lake, vistas, people and climate never disappoint. Like many people however, I...


Managing a business in 40 hours a week

My screen printing business, like many others, started as a one-man operation. It was located in a small building, not much better than a shack, with a telephone, a big table where I ate lunch and (oc...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22881