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Oilsands processing odours in northwest Alberta may cause health problems: report

PEACE RIVER, Alta. - A new report says odours caused by oilsands processing in northwestern Alberta should be eliminated as much as possible because they could cause health problems.

The report from the Alberta Energy Regulator follows hearings into complaints from people near Peace River who say Baytex Energy's operations are creating powerful gassy smells.

The report says steps must be taken to eliminate gas venting, reduce flaring and conserve all produced gas where feasible.

It also says an air-quality monitoring program should be established in the area.

Some residents have moved away and others have reported 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.

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