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Mike Labrecque wears a gas mask when he visits his Peace Country property, which he abandoned more than two years ago. (CBC)

Families forced from their homes in the Peace Country, received some welcome news today when the Alberta Energy Regulator ordered an oilsands company to capture all harmful emissions.

Almost two years ago, seven families in northwest Alberta abandoned their homes after they began getting sick.

On Tuesday the AER accepted all recommendations from a public inquiry into the emissions and gave Baytex Energy four months to capture all emissions or face consequences.

"It can depend on the infraction and the seriousness of it, but it could certainly result in a shut in of the well or facility," said spokesperson Carol Crowfoot.

In a press release Batex said it supports the initiatives.

The lawyer representing the families said they welcome the new rules, but wanted the emissions stopped immediately.

"Why the regulator, the government, and the industry would continue this situation, allow it to continue, for another four months, in this context, simply makes no sense to me, makes no sense to my clients," said Keith Wilson.

While the families wait, they are contemplating an invitation from a U.S. Senate committee to come to Washington DC. to tell their story. 

With files from CBC's Kim Trynacity