After much delay, the Alberta government has finally buckled to public pressure to conduct public hearings into the pollution of the Peace River region, with the Alberta Energy Regulator announcing on Sep. 18 that it would hold hearings into the “odours and emissions associated with heavy oil operations in the Peace River area.”
The northern Alberta region is being polluted with oils sands projects which has forced the eviction of families, sickened animals, and lowered property values. Many families have left the region, reporting unusual headaches, nausea, rashes, memory losses and other symptoms.
The steaming of bitumen in the region is reported to cause a chemical reaction known as ‘aquathermosis’ that releases a potent neurotoxin, hydrogen sulfide. The regulator has received 860 complaints from the region since 2010.
The region is the ancestral home to Na-Dene peoples.
Residents near Baytex Energy Corporation in Peace River say pollution penetration makes their homes uninhabitable even if off-gassing stopped.
Photo: Karla Labrecque of TheTyee.ca
the Alberta government has finally buckled to public pressure to conduct public hearings