Wednesday, January 28th2.2°C
24736
23669

Alberta Energy Regulator toughens rules to cut possible effect of gas emissions

CALGARY - Alberta's energy regulator is toughening rules to reduce the potential negative effects of energy industry gas emissions.

The new rules will apply to industry practices such as flaring, venting and burning off gas and are to go into effect June 16.

Jim Ellis, president of the Alberta Energy Regulator, said the changes will help ensure the safe and environmentally responsible development of energy resources.

"Revisions to Directive 060 give the AER tools to require gas conservation, regardless of the economics of an oil and gas operation and addresses off-lease hydrocarbon odours,” Ellis said in a release Tuesday.

The changes give the regulator the power to order the mandatory conservation of gases for specific areas and projects.

The regulator can also take action against a company if odours from a project are determined to be a problem.

The change is partly the result of hearings into odours caused by oilsands processing in northwestern Alberta that prompted some families to move away from the area.

Ellis said the regulator has also accepted most of the recommendations in a report released in March by a panel into complaints that Baytex Energy Inc.'s (TSX:BTE) operations are creating powerful gassy smells in the Peace River area.

The report said steps must be taken to eliminate gas venting, reduce flaring and conserve all produced gas in the area where feasible because it could cause health problems.

"We will take immediate action to address the panel's recommendations and work to address odour issues in the Peace River area," Ellis said.

The regulator said existing heavy oil and bitumen operations in the region must capture all produced gas by Aug. 15.

New operations must have gas controls in place by May 15.

Calgary-based Baytex uses an unusual method of heating bitumen in above-ground tanks to extract oil. Four other companies in the area use a similar process.

Last month Baytex said the company is moving to install equipment to capture emissions from the tanks.

The regulator did not accept two recommendations in the report that pertain directly to health, saying they fall within the provincial government's jurisdiction.

One recommendation calls on the Alberta government to conduct studies to better understand the potential link between effects of oilsands odours and emissions on human health.

The other recommends that the government help local physicians consult with environmental health experts to help diagnose symptoms associated with odours and emissions from oilsands operations, and to help physicians provide proper treatment.

"The Alberta Energy regulator supports both of these recommendations, however, the AER does not have jurisdiction over health-related matters," reads the regulator's response to the report.

"The AER will collaborate with Alberta Health on these recommendations to deliver a response."

An Alberta Health official said these two recommendations are under review.

— By John Cotter in Edmonton

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23015


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14602.88-231.00
S&P CDNX667.30-9.49
DJIA17191.37-195.84
Nasdaq4637.994-43.503
S&P 5002002.16-27.39
CDN Dollar0.7982+0.0003
Gold1286.60-5.10
Oil46.45+0.09
Lumber318.40+2.90
Natural Gas2.87-0.111

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.120.00
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.47+0.04
Cantex0.0350.00
Anavex Life Sciences0.182+0.002
Metalex Ventures0.035-0.005
Russel Metals23.70-0.63
Copper Mountain Mining1.00-0.05
Colorado Resources0.145-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.01+0.0031
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.03-0.025
Mission Ready Services0.21-0.03

 



23643

FEATURED Property
21602349810 Highway 97 N
2 bedrooms 1 baths
$229,900
more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Service fit makes happy employees

Finding the right employees for the front lines of your company is key to developing a great service attitude within your company. It is just as important as hiring the right accountant, manager, sale...


How to price: workbook approach

In 2008 Self Counsel Press published my book - Pricing Strategies for Small Business. The book is now available in Europe, India, Russia and the United States. The purpose of the book was to make avai...


Ailing Parents: Tax Issues

If your parent has become ill, there can be several tax issues that come into play depending on the nature of their illness, their age and the role that family members are playing. For example, if you...

_





24709


Member of BC Press Council


23646