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Oil and gas putting children in the Peace at risk, says UVic study

gas maps.PNG
A map included in the University of Victoria study. The caption reads "This image provides an overview of the situation faced by these schools. It depicts gas well sites near schools that are or have been within an Emergency Response Zone."

A new study from the University of Victoria suggests schools in the Peace region of northeastern B.C. are dangerously close to sour gas wells. Betsy Trumpener spoke to one of the studies authors, Tim Thielman.

Listen to the interview with Tim Thielman:
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Thielman and his fellow researchers examined the distance between schools and wells in Peace River North and South.

"We found that there was 96 wells within 2 kilometers of those schools. In one case there was a pipeline as close as 236 meters."

He recommends that wells be at least 1500 meters away from schools.

Thielman says research indicates chronic exposure to sour gas can have adverse health effects.

"Children are outdoors more often, so they're exposed more frequently to environmental pollutants like sour gas. They're also more active so the research suggests that they're breathing harder and ingesting more chemicals because of that."

The safety supervisor for school district 60 in the region says there are safety regulations and procedures in place to keep children safe.

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