Interesting how the industry likes to keep problems to themselves, until they get caught.
CALGARY – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. was charged Monday with violating national environmental laws by releasing a potentially dangerous substance into the Northern Alberta air two years ago.
During the bitumen upgrading process at the company’s Horizon Oil Sands facility located approximately 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, AB, Canada’s largest independent energy company allegedly released an unknown amount of hydrogen sulphide gas into the atmosphere in May 2010 and failed to report the emissions to authorities.
If true, the company’s actions would violate three sections of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and Canadian Natural Resources would be subject to a fine of up to $500,000. Hydrogen sulphide gas is a chemical asphyxiant similar to carbon monoxide or cyanide gas and can lead to severe respiratory problems or even death at very high levels of exposure.
A spokesperson for the Alberta provincial government in Edmonton declined to comment or provide details on exactly how much of the gas was allegedly released, citing respect for the Court process. Canadian Natural Resources officials at the company’s headquarters in Calgary did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Proceedings are scheduled to commence on July 11 at the Fort McMurray Provincial Court.
But what would you expect if money is on the line.
Wonder how the pipeline companies would handle the problem.