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Recommendations to AER could prevent future issues with heavy oil operations

One of the affected landowners has had a chance to look over a report on odours and emissions from heavy oil operations in the Peace River area.

Overall, Brian Labrecque says he’s pleased with the 20 recommendations made to the Alberta Energy Regulator like prohibiting venting and particularly when it comes to reducing flaring.

“They’ve made it quite clear that flaring should not be viewed as a solution or a long-term solution, only as a temporary one. That one really resonates with us as well, because I know that was part of the solution that Baytex is proposing to us.”

Labrecque believes many of the proposed changes will also help close a gap in regulations.

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If the recommendations are enforced, he also thinks issues like he and his neighbours have had could be avoided in the future.

“I can honestly say that we should not really see a repeat of this type of incident again, and it’ll prevent other families from having to go through what we’ve been going through over the last number of years.”

Seven families have left their homes due to health concerns, and there’s still a long road ahead for them.

A judge in Peace River is currently considering an injunction on Baytex Energy’s operations until mitigation measures can be implemented.

The AER’s response is expected by April 15th.

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