Alberta Energy Regulator



Alberta Energy Regulator

July 18, 2013 17:12 ET

Alberta Energy Regulator to Hold Formal Inquiry Regarding Emissions from Cold Heavy Oil Production Facilities in Three Creeks and Reno Areas

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - July 18, 2013) - The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) will hold a public inquiry to address the concerns of residents in the Three Creeks and Reno areas regarding hydrocarbon emissions related to cold heavy oil production. CEO Jim Ellis requested the inquiry in a letter to the AER Chief Hearing Commissioner earlier today.

"While a great deal of progress has been made in reducing emissions in the area since 2009, and despite the fact that Alberta has some of the strictest requirements in the world for flaring, venting and incineration, there are still concerns being raised in these areas," said CEO Ellis. "This inquiry will provide residents with an opportunity to express their concerns in a public forum that will also include a review of the industry practices and potential solutions to address the issue."

The inquiry will consider concerns of local stakeholders regarding hydrocarbon emissions and odours from cold heavy oil production facilities and related impacts; examine expert information about human and animal health; review existing Government of Alberta and AER policies and air quality standards; explore possible technical and regulatory solutions; assess the potential impacts on licensees/operations of facilities of mandating reduction or elimination of emissions, and consider information about the area's reserves and royalty potential, including the potential economic, social and environmental impacts of any recommendations made by the inquiry panel.

The AER anticipates the inquiry panel will provide recommendations intended to address the concerns of area residents and take into account potential economic, social and environmental impacts of any recommendations resulting from the inquiry.

The date of the inquiry has not yet been determined, however it is expected that a pre-hearing will be announced for Fall 2013. Additional details will be provided at a later date.

The Alberta Energy Regulator ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans.

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The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has announced a public inquiry to address the concerns of residents in the Three Creeks and Reno areas regarding emissions related to cold heavy oil production. In a letter to the Chief Hearing Commissioner, CEO Jim Ellis requested the AER Chief Hearing Commissioner to initiate an inquiry to examine the concerns expressed by the residents, assess potential environmental, health and social impacts and review current requirements to assess if improvements can be made.

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