Suncor facing 7 environmental charges by Alberta Environment, seems in relation to sour gas leak at Sherwood Park refinery that sent numerous workers to hospital in 2018. Why no charges against Encana/Ovintiv for breaking every law there is in Alberta to protect residential drinking water supplies?

This is the most empty press release on environmental charges against an oil and gas giant I’ve seen. And released on a Sunday. Of course by an Alberta regulator. The gov’t doesnt even state that it reportedly appears deadly sour gas was involved and workers were harmed and taken to hospital.

First, some important facts on deadly sour gas:

1. Exposure to levels below 10 ppm permanently damage the human brain Since removed from that website. Typical.

2. Harm from levels below 10 ppm by Worksafe Alberta Also since removed! Typical.

3. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) LOW LEVEL HEALTH HARM WARNINGS:

Worker Exposure Limits
NIOSH REL (10-min. ceiling): 10 ppm
OSHA PELs: General Industry Ceiling Limit: 20 ppm General Industry Peak Limit: 50 ppm (up to 10 minutes if no other exposure during shift) Construction 8-hour Limit: 10 ppm Shipyard 8-hour limit: 10 ppm
NIOSH IDLH: 100 ppm
IDLH: immediately dangerous to life and health (level that interferes with the ability to escape) (NIOSH) PEL: permissible exposure limit (enforceable) (OSHA) ppm: parts per millionREL: recommended exposure limit (NIOSH)
Concentration
(ppm)
Symptoms/Effects
0.00011-0.00033Typical background concentrations
0.01-1.5Odor threshold (when rotten egg smell is first noticeable to some). Odor becomes more offensive at 3-5 ppm. Above 30 ppm, odor described as sweet or sickeningly sweet.
2-5Prolonged exposure may cause nausea, tearing of the eyes, headaches or loss of sleep. Airway problems (bronchial constriction) in some asthma patients.
20Possible fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, irritability, poor memory, dizziness.
50-100Slight conjunctivitis (“gas eye”) and respiratory tract irritation after 1 hour. May cause digestive upset and loss of appetite.
100Coughing, eye irritation, loss of smell after 2-15 minutes (olfactory fatigue). Altered breathing, drowsiness after 15-30 minutes. Throat irritation after 1 hour. Gradual increase in severity of symptoms over several hours. Death may occur after 48 hours.
100-150Loss of smell (olfactory fatigue or paralysis).
200-300Marked conjunctivitis and respiratory tract irritation after 1 hour. Pulmonary edema may occur from prolonged exposure.
500-700Staggering, collapse in 5 minutes. Serious damage to the eyes in 30 minutes. Death after 30-60 minutes.
700-1000Rapid unconsciousness, “knockdown” or immediate collapse within 1 to 2 breaths, breathing stops, death within minutes.
1000-2000Nearly instant death

What about longer term health effects? Some people who breathed in levels of hydrogen sulfide high enough to become unconscious continue to have headaches and poor attention span, memory, and motor function after waking up. Problems with the cardiovascular system have also been reported at exposures above permissible exposure limits. People who have asthma may be more sensitive to hydrogen sulfide exposure. That is, they may have difficulty breathing at levels lower than people without asthma.

The explosive range of hydrogen sulfide in air is 4.5 to 45.5 percent. This range is much higher than the PEL.

Safety Hazards

  • Hydrogen sulfide is a highly flammable, explosive gas, and can cause possible life-threatening situations if not properly handled. In addition, hydrogen sulfide gas burns and produces other toxic vapors and gases, such as sulfur dioxide.
  • In addition to exposure to hydrogen sulfide in the air, exposure to liquid hydrogen sulfide can cause “blue skin” or frostbite. If clothing becomes wet, avoid ignition sources, remove the clothing and isolate it in a safe area to allow it to evaporate.
  • The effect called knockdown (rapid unconsciousness) often results in falls that can seriously injure the worker.

The following resources provide more information on the safety and health effects of hydrogen sulfide:

  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S). OSHA Fact Sheet, (October 2005). Provides a concise list of industrial sources, symptoms and health effects of exposure to hydrogen sulfide, and OSHA requirements for the protection of workers.
  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) (PDF). OSHA QuickCard™. Provides the important safety precautions for hydrogen sulfide.
  • Hydrogen Sulfide. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Workplace Safety and Health Topic. Provides a listing of NIOSH and related resources on hydrogen sulfide.
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2005-149. Provides physical descriptions, exposure limits, measurement methods, personal protection and sanitation, first aid, respirator recommendations, exposure routes, symptoms, target organs, and other information about hydrogen sulfide.
  • IDLH Documentation for Hydrogen Sulfide. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), (Revised August 16, 1996). Describes how NIOSH determined hydrogen sulfide Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH).
  • ToxFAQs for Hydrogen Sulfide. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), (July 2006). Answers the most frequently asked health questions about hydrogen sulfide.
  • Toxicological Profile for Hydrogen Sulfide. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), (July 2006). More detailed technical information on hydrogen sulfide, health effects, chemical and physical properties, potential for human exposure, and analytical methods.
  • Medical Management Guidelines for Hydrogen Sulfide. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), (April 2006). Provides general information about hydrogen sulfide, its health effects, and specific medical treatments for hydrogen sulfide exposure.

Environmental charges laid for refinery incident Press Release by Alberta Gov’t, July 26, 2020

Government has laid seven charges against Suncor Energy Inc. related to an incident that took place at the company’s refinery located in Strathcona County in 2018. On this page:

The company faces five charges for contravening a term or condition of an approval. The company is also charged with releasing a substance into the environment that may cause an adverse effect and failing to report the release in a timely manner. Compare: Alberta Evironment did not charge Encana for illegally diverting fresh water without a permit and then lying about it; illegally frac’ing and injecting into a community’s drinking water aquifers 18 Million litres of frac fluid (and still secret 16 years later, the secret chemical additives); releasing life-threatening concentrations of methane and ethane and lying about that too; and more.

All of the charges are contraventions under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. The incident is alleged to have occurred in July 2018.

Suncor Energy Inc. has a court date scheduled for July 29 in Sherwood Park.

Related information

Media inquiries

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    Press Secretary, Environment and Parks

Suncor facing seven environmental charges from province in relation to Sherwood Park refinery by Dustin Cook, July 26, 2020, Calgary Sun

The Alberta government has laid seven environmental charges against Suncor Energy related to the release of a substance at its Sherwood Park refinery in July 2018.

The company is charged with releasing a substance into the environment that may cause an adverse effect and failing to report the release in a timely manner, Ministry of Environment and Parks press secretary Jess Sinclair said in a Sunday in a news release. Suncor is also facing five charges for contravening a term or condition of an approval.

Postmedia reported a hydrogen sulphide leak, also known as sour gas, at the plant in July 2018 that sent a handful of workers to hospital after being exposed to the gas.

All of the charges are contraventions under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the province said, and Suncor is scheduled to appear in court on July 29 in Sherwood Park.

Referred to as the Suncor Edmonton Refinery, the plant is located just to the east of Edmonton on Petroleum Way in Sherwood Park.

Suncor facing charges after 2018 incident by CTV News Edmonton, Sunday, July 26, 2020

Suncor Energy Inc. is facing charges from the Alberta government over an alleged incident that occurred in July 2018.

Five of the charges are for contravening a term or condition of an approval. The company was also charged with releasing a substance into the environment that may cause harm and failing to report it in a timely manner.

The charges are under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

The company has a court date set for July 29 in Sherwood Park.

While the government did not specify the incident the charges stem from CTV News Edmonton reported of a hydrogen sulfide release on July 18, 2018 that sent several workers to hospital.

Suncor facing seven environmental charges from province in relation to Sherwood Park refinery by Dustin Cook, Jul 26, 2020, Edmonton Journal

The Alberta government has laid seven environmental charges against Suncor Energy related to the release of a substance at its Sherwood Park refinery in July 2018.

The company is charged with releasing a substance into the environment that may cause an adverse effect and failing to report the release in a timely manner, Ministry of Environment and Parks press secretary Jess Sinclair said in a Sunday in a news release. Suncor is also facing five charges for contravening a term or condition of an approval.

Postmedia reporteda hydrogen sulphide leak, also known as sour gas, at the plant in July 2018 that sent a handful of workers to hospital after being exposed to the gas.

All of the charges are contraventions under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, the province said, and Suncor is scheduled to appear in court on July 29 in Sherwood Park.

Referred to as the Suncor Edmonton Refinery, the plant is located just to the east of Edmonton on Petroleum Way in Sherwood Park.

Workers sent to hospital after sour gas release at Strathcona County Suncor plant by Jamie Sarkonak, July 18, 2018, Edmonton Journal

A “handful” Why not report how many? Trying to minimize the incident? of workers at Suncor Energy’s Edmonton refinery were sent to hospital after they were exposed to hydrogen sulphide, also known as sour gas, Wednesday.

Suncor responded to the gas release at the Strathcona County plant at 12 p.m., spokesperson Erin Rees said. No one was killed, but a “handful of folks” sent to hospital were expected to be released Wednesday night, Rees said. Their injuries were not disclosed.

Sour gas can emerge !!! Media enabling the polluters and downplaying the deadly problem !!! during work involving oil and natural gas. At high concentrations, it has no odour and can cause lung damage, according to AHS. Of course sour gas has odour at high concentrations but much more importantly, sour gas permanently damages the brain and neurological system even at low levels which might explain the idiotic voting habits of Albertans, notably rural.In severe cases it causes loss of consciousness and possibly death. Incredibly irresponsible reporting. Death usually happens when consciousness is lost and has often happened in oil and gas fields but industry does not like media admitting that or reporting on the many industrial sour gas deaths to humans, livestock, pets and wildlife.

At low concentrations, sour gas smells like rotting eggs and can cause nausea and headaches. Why leave out that it causes permanent brain and neurological problems? Encana edit the article?

The Suncor unit that leaked the gas is now secure. Rees said AHS and Suncor are now investigating.

“Our first priority is to make sure anyone affected gets care,” she said.

Rees said there are hydrogen sulphide alarms throughout the refinery. Workers in areas where the gas might be present wear personal gas monitors at all times, and are trained in monitor use.

Production was not affected by the leak.

Refer also to:

2017 01 04: Happy Alberta-Oil-Patch-Get-Away-with-Murder New Year? After 10 years to investigate and release report, CNRL fined $10,000 – maximum allowed – following regulation violations that killed 2 workers, injured 5 others, 13 in total trapped by devastating tank collapse. All 29 charges against CNRL dropped. Alberta’s “No Duty of Care” energy “regulation” wins & kills, again.

2017 09 01: Corrupt Whimps Extraordinaire! Ex-Encana VP (Gerard Protti) led AER taps Encana with $7,500 administrative penalty for major sour gas blowout at Fox Creek Alberta, Nothing for injecting 18 million litres of frac fluid into Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers.

2020 01 20: AER laid five environmental and conservation-related charges against Tourmaline Oil and spinoff Topaz Energy Corp., and three charges against CWC Energy Services for knowingly leaking sour gas (H2S) “that impacted human health” in 2018 near Spirit River, Alberta. Court hearing Feb 19, 2020 in Grand Prairie. Why no charges against Encana, now Ovintiv, for its illegal sour gas venting near Rosebud and illegally operating a sour gas facility and wells as sweet?

2020 07 20: AER skulduggery escalates: Dave Goldie, Encana & Cenovus VP is new Chair (first was Encana & Cenovus VP Gerry Protti); Martin Foy, Encana crime-enabler, appointed Exec VP (remember AER exec VP, ex-Encana lying manager Mark Taylor?); Propagandizing Synergy Queen, Tracey McCrimmon & Encana crime-enabler Bev Yee appointed to the Board; Anti-science climate change denier, Steve Harper’s best buddy/compaign manager, Kenney’s Kamikazi campaign manager, John Weissenberger, made VP of Technical Science and External Innovation Branch.

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