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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 3, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta 22 IETHBRIDOE HERAVD Tueltlay, 3, GREEN ACRES CHARTER NIGHT The Green Kiwanis Club celebrated its 20th anniversary on the week- end, with its annual charier night ceremonies commem- orating receipt of its Kiwaris club charter in 1952. Incom- ing president Bill Varzari (right) accepts gavel from past president Ira fiaa. Residents should sample air in their neighborhood PINCHER CREEK Sam- ples of gas plant air pollution should be caught in plastic garbage hags and delivered to the Alberta department of the enviroment for analysis, a Re- search Council of Alberta con- sultant told a public hearing here Monday. Dr. R. F. Klemm, who pre- pared tho Environment Con- servation Authority position paper on the environmental ef- fects of the operation of sul- phur extraction gas plants, said it's the only practical way for residents of the windswept foothills areas to monitor actu- al pollution levels. He said increase's In popula- 100 Copiei S3.30 plus tax L- Instant Print Con; Div. J269 TWrd Aye. S. lethbridge tion will result in Increasec uses of sulphur and natura gas, which in turn will lead t more pollution. The gas industry Is alread monitoring its own pollution Dr. Klemm said the industr should be required to subm monthly reports to a govern ment regulatory agency. One of the major pollutants is sulphur dust, which occur when solid sulphur is cut c crushed for export to comme: cial markets. The dust carries in the wine and when it settles it acidifh the soil to the point where iv thing will grow in it. Dr. Klemm said there are only about 300 acres of no-grow soil in Alberta and that most of it is on property owned by gas companies. He blasted the former Socred government on its lazy meth- ods in tackling the gas plant pollution problems. The 1963 Alberta government Scientific Advisory Committee on Air Pollution report was a he said. It did nothing but say every- thing was "fine and dandy" and refused to acknowledge a problem "that was there." Environment bearing receives many briefs The neighborhood speaks: PINCHER CREEK An! Health Minister Danavon Ross [arming picture of human ill-1 [mil others in the Manning gov- ess, livestock deaths anil dam-1 crnmcnl with trying to ignore 1 the problems at Pincher Creek. Ho charged that the provin- cial government, despite con- cern expressed by P i n c h e r Creek residents, lias failed to enforce even the "inadequate legislation" that covers natural gas processing plant pollution. "Our problem definitely wasn't taken he sain One woman spoke at speml- provincial government rep- ge to the environment lamed on three natural gas rocessing plants in southwest .Iberta Monday. Six witnesses gave detailed ccounts of damage ami sus- xjcted results of gas pollution I a hearing of UK Alberta En- ironment Conservation Author- :y here. ng two weeks in hospital after vaking one day in 1SC7 to find >ne side of her body paralyzed. Residents in tha vicinity of Gulf and Shell plants located ibout six miles from each other southwest of' Pinchcr Creek complained of chest pains, diz- ziness, nausea, burning eyes and ;kin and other symptoms. One woman charged that the Drywood Creek and wells in Ihe Pincher Creek area were con- aminated by lead, mercury and arsenic discharged from :he plants, During ?ife hours of testi- mony, a man presented a 20- signaturc petition from Cole- man residents calling for an in- vestigation into the effects of emissions from the Saratoga Processing Ltd. plant near that community. Hearing chairman Dr. Wal- ter Trost said in an interview later that results of hearings will be incorporated into a re- port to be presented to Envir- onment Minister Bill Yurko "probably early in 1973." The full slate of hearings into the environmental effects ol sulphur extraction gas plants in Alberta will include sittings in Red Deer Thursday. White-court Oct. 11, Calgary Oct. 15 and Edmonton Oct. 19. Dr. Trost said it is not clear at this stage what action will follow findings. Testimony at the hearing Monday and a out-of- court settlement paid by Gulf and Shell to 15 Pincher' Creek residents in 1971 for damages from pollution suggests thai something must be done, he said. Mrs. -James Taylor, wife of a rancher and mother of three, was one of those paid damages by the two companies. "The money does not solve the she told the hear, ing. "No amount of money will." She said her 13-year-old son has been hospitalized because of severe nose bleeds resulting from gas fumes. Mrs. Taylor said she was in hospital in Cal- gary for two weeks with paraly- sis, and although the doctor could not discover the cause of her illness, she attributed it lo gas. She told of effects on mem- bers of her family, livestock and vegetation, on the Taylor'. farm situated within a few miles of Ihe Gulf and Shell plants. Bruce McRae, another ranch, er, blamed former Social Credil resentatives who have come in the past to investigate. Mr. McRae said he has given up raising hogs after a hog died in 1969 from gas poisoning. Mrs. Gordon McRae a sis- ter-in-law to Bruce said PREPARED YWR HOME NOW! REPAIR IT! ALUMINUM STORM WINDOWS .00 UP CAULKING COMPOUND New heavy duty plastic caulking. PER TUBE ALUMINUM SELF-STORING 1.95 Weatherstrip Aluminum and" Rubber PER SET Place Your Order Now! Insulation Roofing ADVANC LUMBER CO. LID. 2nd Ave. and 13th St. S. Phone 328-3301 "Your Pioneer Lumber Dealer Since 1925" Sulphur bearing stories by Rudy rlaugerteder Greg Mclntyre Herald Staff Writers umes, which at different times mell like burning, rotten eggs, ewage and fuel, started in 1957 vhen the Gulf-plant establislred n the area. She detailed rapid rusting of letal such as farm equipment, "wliitening" of vegetation, ir- itation to livestock and hum- Mrs. McRae included In her presentation a letter dated Nov. 7, 1961 from Dr. Lome Collins of Pincher Creek which said 'members ot the Mcllae and Taylor families developed var- ious symptoms of ill health when the smell of gas is strong- ly present in and around their homes. "Although I have no method of scientifically proving that these complaints arc due to air pollution from the gas process- ing plants nevertheless, when there is no smell there are no complaints and when the fami- lies temporarily leave the area their symptoms disappear therefore I believe there is a definite cause and effect rela- tionship." Mrs. Bill Main, a ranch resi- dent in the immediate Shell plant vicinity, told of flaming matter falling from a plant stack and setting the range on fire. She also described "sulphur dust" spread through grass within a wide radius of the plant. Mrs. Ray Marr, a ranch wife, expressed fear that water in the area may be contaminated by metallic impurities from ef- fluent from the Gulf and Shell plants. Gordon Herd of the Willow Drive area in Coleman told the hearing of "hundreds of trees killed" and cats and dogs in his neighborhood knocked uncon- scious by fumes from the Sara- toga plant near Coleman. PINCHER CHEEK The 'anadian Petroleum Associa-1 on wants air quality control i tandavds governing sulphur ex- j racting gas plants hi this prov-; nee left alone. Representing 191 oil and gas xploration and producing com- anies, the petroleum associa- on told an Environment Con- ervation Authority public hosi- ng looking into the cnvir- nmental effects of sulphur ex- Gulf Oil: Union viewpoint: PINCHER CREEK Year-] Id faulty equipment at Shell's Vaterton gas plant is er.dang- ring both employees and the iublic says a union leader. Reg Basken, representative 'f the Oil, Chemical and Atom- c Workers Union told an En- Tironment Conservation Author- ty public hearing here Monday that two cracked pressurized pipes are causing the problem. He told the hearing, which is ooking into the environmental effects of sulphur extracting jas plants, that the two pipes, clamped to prevent rupture, should have been replaced a year ago. The pipes contain natural gas and steam and are under and 75 pounds per square- nch pressure. He said temporary plant shutdowns to repair faults are iccessary not only to protect employees but also the public at large from gas plant pollu- tion. A high degree of noise pollu- ion Effecting workers also oc- curs at the plant, although em- ployees are provided with spe- cial hearing protective equip- ment, he said. In addition, he said certain aspects of piping at the plant are designed badly again pre- senting a possible danger to both employees and nearby residents. No special environment a 1 training is provided to plant employees he said. "There's nothing in management plans in this regard ES yet." Such a program would re- quire labor management co- operation. Environment training should fall under the auspices of the board of industrial health, whose shortage of manpower "absolutely impossible." The board should be in position to have the necessary expertise to provide the train- ing but is "so short, staffed hat there Is no hope of ade- uate he said. In the area of pollution lonitoring Mr. Basken saic he Shall plant doesn't have enough checking devices. He added that existing monl oring methods "cannot possi ly account for all the con aminants that are emitted on ray or Uie other into the en ironment." Gas plant employees should 3e required by law to report any dangerous situations whicl lead to extensive poliu ion, and be protected by th ame law. At present there are no laws rotecting employees from rep imand and possible dismissa reporting an unsafe condi ion to a governmental agency Mr. Basken recommendet hat Shell establish a lalw management environm e u ta alety committee to work in a! areas of environmental control The union also called for 'full review" cf existing mon oring devices and the estab ishment of an over all stan dardized system to be usec throughout the industry. Medical Dental Centre opens The new Family Medica Dental Centre at 2931 20th St S. opposite the College Ma Shopping Centre, described as the first of iti type in Leth bridge, held an open house Sat urday nig.it. There are 12 patient room, on the doctors' side and 10 op crating rooms on the dentists side. Each room is cquippa with a music speaker system. Four general practitioner, use the 12 patient rooms, thro to each. C. M. Stewart, om of the doctors, said the paticn rooms are arranged in such a way that he could sec twice a many patients without givinf less personal attention. Space could added to pro- vide facilities for another two family physicians, he said. Each of Ihe four participating rlenti.Hts uses two operating rooms. There Is space for one more dentist. The centre has some surgical equipment for minor opera- lions. Serious cases be re- ferred to .specialists and hos- pitals. The industry replies: PINCHER CREEK The million Gulf Oil of Canada gas processing miles south- operating at ,td. natural lant located vest of here ess than half capacity, the 'Ublic hearing was told. Bob Thomson, superinten- dent at the Gulf. plant built in 957, .said "the gas just isn't in he field anymore basically." Speaking at an Alberta En- ironment Conservation Au- trading gas plants, that exist- ing air quality standards in Al- berta arc ample to ensure pub- lic safety. In a mini-brief the rest of wliicli will be outlined in a 125- pago brief at an authority hear- ing in Calgary Oct. 1C the OPA said its submission was prepared by a special (ask force ol five hired consultants and an "in house" study. It said current pollution rnon- thority hearing into gas extrac- lion plant operations, Mr. Thomson declined to predict when the Gulf plant might shut down. Standards for waste emis- sions set in 1958 are still follow- ed by the plant, within provin- cial limits, although the com- pany has continuously strived to upgrade equipment and ef- ficiency since start up, he said. Shell Oil: PINCHER. CREEK A new 110 million process that would eliminate sulphur from natural ;as processing is under study or the Shell Waterton Gas Plant, located 12 miles south- west of here, the Environment lonservation Authority was told Monday. Bob Naden, Calgary manag- er of Shell's gas division, told a DUblic hearing the company does not expect it would ever recover the cost of the anti- pollution process if it were in- stalled. The new process, called the Shell Glaus Off-gas Treating (SCOT) process, is believed capable of virtually complete removal of sulphur compounds from sulphur recovery units. Mr. Naden, ployee of the a former em- Shell Waterton Gas Plant which started opera- tion in I9R1, said at present about 97 pur cent recovery of waste sulphur is achieved. By "Ihe early 1980s" Mr. Naden predicted the million plant, which employs 200 per- sons, will he faced with rapid- ly declining gas reserves in the Pinchcr Creek area. Faced with recently an- nounced, tougher provincial pollution standards for gas pro- cessing plants, Shell has initiat- ed a two year study to investigate the effects of gas emissions on soil, plant and animal life in the immediate area of the southern Alberta plant, he said. la addition, the company now runs on discharges into the air and into the Drywood Creek and submits results reg- ularily to the government. devices "ensure that tha established air quality stand- ards are being achieved." The sneak preview of the sub- mission says air monitoring is all that is necessary in most ases. (The ECA's own position paper suggests air, ground and water monitoring devices are needed to guard against sulphur pollution from gas plants.) The petroleum association brief did note that there are unique topographical and met- eorological features, and recom- mended giounri level monitor- ing in these cases. In pleading its case to leave pollution standards as they are, the CPA noted there are 62 sul- phur extracting gas plants in Albcvta. These were constructed at an approximate cost of mil- lion and pay out alxmt mil- lion annually in taxes, payrolls, supplies and the like. However, Ihe mini-brief did not mention any profits the companies made. Existing air quality stand- ards are comparable to "most" international and national standards "which are designed to protect vegetation, animal life and human well it said. Saratoga: PINGHER ed pollution control standards would force the shutdown of Saratoga Processing Ltd., a natural gas processing plant located near Coleman in the Crowsnest Pass, the Environ- ment Conservation was told Monday. Authority A. J. Green of Vancouver, engineering manager of West' coast Transmission Co. Ltd., the parent firm, told a public hearing (hat the processing plant's 26 employees would likely be thrown out of work if Public school board sets new 'outside policy the plant was forced lo Install more stringent pollution control equipment. Saratoga, which processes natural gas from the Savanna Creek Gas Field and delivers it to the Alberta Gas Trunk Line Co. Ltd. and to Weslcoast Transmission, is currently op- erating at only one seventh capacity and is a "marginal" venture, he said. Long hair is hazard at machines NATAL (HNS) The Work- men's Compensation Board at Vancouver reports receiv Ing several recent claims from per- sons who have been injured when their long hair caught in machines at work. The claims have come from a variety of industries and are both men and women. WCB accident prevention in- spection director J. D. Paton said that where there is dang- er of contact with moving parts of machinery, WCB regulations require that hair on the head and face should be completely confined or cut short. "It is not necessary for hair to be in direct contact with mach- inery to produce a he said. "Hair can ]x attracted by static electricity to moving beits, spindles or rollers." It is very difficult to remove the static hazard completely by mechanical means, so measures as tying hack the hair or wear- ing suitable headgear are nec- essary, he said. The Lethbridge public school oard has adopted a new policy regarding school district per- sonnel providing service to out- side agencies. There have been occasions where school district personnel have been asked to teach a course at the university or col- lege or provide a service to some other organization. From now on, services ot public school personnel will not be provided during a regular school day, except In unusual circumstances. However, In tha case of the university and the college, ex- tra effort will be made to meet whatever needs may arise as long as the school district can make other arrangements to cover for the person's absence and also, that the institution in- volved is prepared to pay the school district for the service. The person involved, therefore, will not receive double pay. Post office closed The Lethbridge post office will observe the Thanksgiving holiday on Monday, Oct. 9 but the lock box lobby will remain open and special delivery mail will be delivered, postmaster Art Lewis says. HOLIDAY VILLAGE OFFICE AND PROFESSIONAL CENTRE NOW LEASING iq. ft. of Fully air condilianed offica or ilora ipaca available on fewer er upitairt level. Completely em and will finish to turf tenants requirements. CONTACT HOLIDAY VILLAGE 449 MAYOR MAGRATH DR. PHONE 328-4043 MEET Ken Hurlburt THE MAN FOR ALL REASONS At The READYMADE SCHOOL Thurs., Oct. 5 8 p.m. At The BARONS LEGION HALL Fri., Oct. 6 2 to 5 p.m. Af The NOBLEFORD LEGION HALL Fri., Oct. 6 7 to 9 p.m. Everyone Welcome Refreshments WilE Be Served INSERTED BY THE KEN HURIBURT CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE ;