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Lawyer asks court to shut Alberta oilsands plant releasing harmful smells

EDMONTON - A lawyer is asking a court to shut down a northwestern Alberta oilsands plant while the owner works to stop harmful odours that have forced nearby residents from their homes.

Keith Wilson represents families made ill by powerful smells emitting from Baytex Energy's operations near Peace River.

Wilson says allowing Baytex to keep operating while it installs new equipment to block the smells puts corporate profits ahead of public health.

Last week, Alberta's energy regulator agreed with the conclusions of a public inquiry that found the company's emissions were harming nearby residents.

The regulator gave Baytex four months to install its new equipment.

Wilson says his clients are still deciding whether to testify at a U.S. Senate hearing that is examining potential health effects of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The injunction application comes the same day the Alberta government announced it would attend a conference in Seattle to tout its environmental record.

The Canadian Press

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