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Alberta companies face charges after hydrogen sulphide leak causes health problems

Alberta's energy regulator has laid charges against three oil and gas companies after a release of poisonous hydrogen sulphide that affected human health.

Charges related to hydrogen sulphide leak near Spirit River in February 2018

Three energy industry companies have been charged in relation to a hydrogen sulphide leak near Spirit River, Alta. (CBC)

Alberta's energy regulator has laid charges against three oil and gas companies after a release of poisonous hydrogen sulphide that affected human health.

The charges are related to a hydrogen sulphide leak near Spirit River, Alta., on Feb. 25, 2018.

Five charges have been laid against Tourmaline Oil Corp. and Topaz Oil Corp., and three charges have been laid against CWC Energy Services Corp.

Tourmaline Oil Corp. and Topaz Oil Corp have been charged with:

  • One count under section 109(1) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) for knowingly releasing a substance to the environment that caused or may have caused an adverse effect;
  • One count under section 109(2) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act for releasing a substance to the environment that caused or may have caused an adverse effect;
  • One count under section 110(1) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act for failing to report the release of the substance, being the person who caused the release, as soon as possible;
  • One count under section 110(2) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act for failing to report the release of the substance, being the person who knew or ought to have known, as soon as possible;
  • One Count under section 108(2) of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act for failing to comply with Directive 37.

CWC Energy Services has been charged with:

  • One count under section 109(1) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act for knowingly releasing a substance to the environment that caused or may have caused an adverse effect;
  • One count under section 109(2) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act for releasing a substance to the environment that caused or may have caused an adverse effect;
  • One Count under section 108(2) of the Oil and Gas Conservation Act for failing to comply with Directive 37.

Hydrogen sulphide is a colourless and poisonous flammable gas that smells like rotten eggs and can cause chest pain, difficulty breathing, vomiting and headaches.

All three companies are scheduled to appear in a Grande Prairie court on Feb. 19.

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