Alberta government orders Suncor to minimize H2S emissions

Alberta government orders Suncor to minimize H2S emissions
Edmonton, Alberta &The Alberta government has ordered Suncor Energy Inc. to immediately minimize hydrogen sulphide (H2S) emissions from its Firebag Enhanced Recovery site near Fort McMurray.

The Environmental Enforcement Order comes in response to a joint inspection of the site by Alberta Environment and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board in late August after Suncor notified the EUB they were in non-compliance. This inspection revealed numerous contraventions of Alberta Environment approval conditions including unauthorized venting of H2S and a lack of pollution control equipment and proper emissions reporting.
Under the order issued by Alberta Environment, Suncor must develop an interim action plan by September 28, which identifies the immediate actions it will take to minimize H2S emissions until compliance is achieved. Suncor must also submit a comprehensive plan on or before October 22, which details what longer-term steps it will take to come into compliance with Alberta Environment requirements.

The plan must contain actions necessary to achieve and maintain compliance to all contraventions noted during the August inspection. This includes updating and replacing equipment, the development and implementation of an H2S monitoring and reporting action plan, and a modeling study of current H2S emissions complete with a worst case consequence analysis for on and off-site impacts.
The order also requires Suncor to submit written progress reports on a monthly basis detailing the steps taken to comply with the Order and to commission a third party audit of Suncors environmental management system for the site.

Enforcement Orders are issued under the authority of Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and Water Act. The Alberta government can issue enforcement orders to remedy a number of environmental problems where the Acts have been contravened, including the failure to meet approval conditions. The orders are designed to ensure immediate action is taken to correct non-compliance.

Ensuring the protection of the environment is an important part of Premier Ed Stelmach’s plan to improve Albertans quality of life and provide safe and secure communities. Other priorities for the government are to govern with integrity and transparency, manage growth pressures, improve Albertans’ quality of life, and build a stronger Alberta.
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Media enquiries may be directed to:
Josh Stewart
Alberta Environment
(780) 427-6267
Dial 310-0000 for toll-free access outside Edmonton