Tuesday, October 6th13.0°C

Clean-energy group praises new Alberta Energy Regulator emission rules

CALGARY - A clean-energy group is praising a decision by the Alberta Energy Regulator to crack down on emissions from oilsands development in the Peace River area.

The Pembina Institute calls it a positive step that recognizes health concerns about odours from processing plants.

The regulator is bringing in new rules this year to reduce the potential negative effects of energy industry gas emissions, including flaring, venting and burning off gas.

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

Calgary-based Baytex and four other companies in the area use an unusual method of heating bitumen in above-ground tanks to extract oil.

"Though this decision is long-overdue — odours were first reported by residents in 2009 — it provides one tangible example where the Alberta Energy Regulator has established a transparent public process to deal with a major public concern," Pembina spokesman Chris Severson-Baker said in a release Wednesday.

"We hope this represents the beginning of a new approach to addressing the environmental and health concerns of Albertans."

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.

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

Severson-Baker said Pembina will be watching to see how the provincial government deals with these issues that are aimed at protecting the safety of people who live near energy projects.

The Canadian Press

Read more Business News


Recent Trending

Today's Market
S&P TSX13647.26+95.06
S&P CDNX538.69+8.78
S&P 5001979.92-7.13
CDN Dollar0.7676+0.0004
Natural Gas2.456-0.014

Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.21-0.01
QHR Technologies Inc1.25+0.03
Metalex Ventures0.05-0.01
Russel Metals23.31+0.80
Copper Mountain Mining0.56+0.06
Colorado Resources0.07-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0031-0.0009
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.02+0.00
Mission Ready Services0.085-0.010
Decisive Dividend Corp3.06-0.43
Diamcor Mining0.90+0.00



2245122 #202 - 881 Academy Way
2 bedrooms 3 baths
more details
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading

Perfect (reno'd) home

Photo: Thinkstock.comHow many times have you found a home in the perfect location, but it needs too much work as per the home inspection? There is a great program available through most lenders that w...

Living beyond 100

Photo: ContributedThere was a time most careers involved an apprenticeship of one sort another. Some official, others involving years of servitude, and others time simply spent watching and emulating ...

5 Claim misconceptions

Photo: Thinkstock.comIf you have been hurt in an accident or as a result of medical negligence you will likely look to your friends and family for some advice on how to deal with the situation. These ...



Member of BC Press Council