Health effects of bitumen tanks focus of hearings
The Alberta Energy Regulator is holding meetings in northern Alberta to determine whether bitumen processing tanks are making people sick.
Six families have moved from their homes claiming the tanks owned by Baytex Energy were causing headaches, nausea and breathing problems.
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“I will never be able to live here again,” said Mike Labrecque. “My body has suffered way too much damage.”
The panel is listening to residents, oil producers and experts, which offered mixed opinions on how the emissions could affect people.
"The odours per se may be causing certain people in the area under certain circumstances to experience a group of diffuse symptoms,” Donald Davis, a toxicologist and president of Intrinsik Environmental Sciences Inc., told the hearing.
Other experts criticized how chemicals in the air are measured, which in turn, creates doubt about the data.
Meanwhile, Baytex Energy maintains that emissions have no effect.
“In order of magnitude, below the standards set by the government, In other words, in our view they're safe,” said Andrew Loosley, director of stakeholder relations, Baytex Energy.
The hearings continue next week. A final report is expected by the end of March.