Charges allege the companies are guilty of ‘knowingly releasing a substance to the environment’
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has laid charges against three Calgary-based companies for a hydrogen sulphide (H2S) leak on Feb. 25, 2018.
Five charges have been laid against both Tourmaline Oil and Topaz Oil, and CWC Energy Services was charged with three violations under the Environmental Protection Act and Oil and Gas Conservation Act.
The charges were rooted in an incident where H2S was released into the Spirit River nearly two years ago.
The charges allege the companies are guilty of “knowingly releasing a substance to the environment that caused or may have caused an adverse effect,” according to media reports.
“To ensure each company has a right to a fair prosecution, the AER cannot release any further details on its investigation findings,” AER spokesman Shawn Roth said.
H2S is a colourless, flammable gas that smells like rotten eggs. Just a few breaths of this gas at higher concentrations can be fatal. It can also lead to unconsciousness, respiratory paralysis and coma.
“The AER ensures the safe, efficient, orderly, and environmentally responsible development of hydrocarbon resources over their entire life cycle. This includes allocating and conserving water resources, managing public lands, and protecting the environment while providing economic benefits for all Albertans,” AER said in a statement.
The first court appearance for Tourmaline, Topaz, and CWC will be on Feb. 19 in Grande Prairie, Alta.