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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 5, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Ttiundcy, Oelob.' 5, 1772 THE IETKBRIDGE HERALD 9 Pollution story unfolds in day-long hearing By MARG LuNN Special Correspondent PINCIIER CREEK Mod- erators of the hearings of en- vironmental effects of the oper- ation of sulfur extraction gas plants were Dr. W. K. Trost, chairman of the Environment Conservation Authority, Dr. S. B. Smith, member of authority; and W. A. Flook, executive co- ordinator. Held in the court house, the building was filled to capacity. Twelve briefs were presented by: Dr. R- F. Klemm, consul- tant; A. J. Green, Saratoga Processing; R. C. Basken, Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers; R. G. Naclen, Shell Canada- Mrs. J. Taylor, private; J. W Andrews, French Petroleum In su'tute; Bruce McRae, Pincher Creek industrial research pollu lion committee; R. A. A Thompson, Gulf Oil Canada Lid; Mrs- Gordon McHae, pri vale; H. R. Pharis, Pinche Creek MD; Mrs. W. Main, pri vate. Dr. Roger Klemm, Consu tant, environmental effects o the operation of sulfur cxtrac tion gas plants, felt he wa skimming the surface of a verj complex situation. One industr generated another. Sour gas i being produced at a faster ral than their knowledge of it an this area Is higher than most] sions in the tieldi nnd relaying reas. Dr. S. B. Smith, meirjcr uf uthorily, said complexities of roblems are not easy to solve. !e wanted to know how strongly !icy depended on the action of be operators in the plant and n lela-metcring from monitor- ng stations. A. J. Green of tlie Saratoga Gas Processing plant at Cole- nan said being In a valley and with a smaller plant condi- ions weren't the same as larg- er prairie-located ones. R. C. Basken, representative of Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers represented the Shell Waterlon Gas Plant Local Un- ion 9835. He said conditions in this plant were better than most Alberta but that sometime repairs were let go for a great- er length of time than neces ary. Recommendations from em ployecs were made from time lo time to a board comprising of three executives and three workers'- Preventing of mercury spillage was a recommenda lion but mercury switches a times were broken. The mer cury fell to the ground where i cither was oxidized or went bit' the environment by sewage. Noise pollution was bad 1: various sections, such as th sulphur blower. Ths compan a'" problem' so the f does provide hearing protector Industry must regulate itself. Day-to-day operation depends on the operators. They use mo- bile monitoring that relates back to the plants. Monitoring THE PULSE TEST THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE! Here'8 the test that tells you whether your heart is getting the right too much, not too little. Devel- oped by doctors over 10 years, this "heart-rated" ex- ercise program shows how to check your pulse at various levels of activity how to pick the right exercise for your age, and condition. Plus chart of suggested activities. Read 'The Pulse Way to Fitness" part of a compelling 3-part feature "TOU AND YOUR HEART" in the October Reader's Digest. At your newsstand today! but workers don't know effective they are. Mr. Bracken said employee, must feel free to make factua reports on pollution without en dangering their jobs. Emplo> ees also felt it would be of a> vantage to have training prc grams to improve their cfficien cy and thus help prevent loss hydrogen sulphide. R. G. Naden of Shell Canat said the plants are concerne and do not claim a perfect ope atiiig reconi but are improvin all the time. The Watcrt. bock to the plant, the concen- ation of gases at ground level- e favors this more than moni- ring stack Millions of dollars are being >ent to achieve successful tail is clean up, ambient air qual- standards set by the Prov- ce of Alberta are to be met. Shell has gone further with a 'o-year program. Wast water, >t salt water, is treated and un through gathering ponds, licre there are fish, before it ejected into streams. Test ols of alfalfa, barley and rom were tested ill 12 areas his year and next year they be tested under field con itions. Acidification of soil by ulfur is tested. Lime has been used lor reclamation. J. W. Gainer of the Canadiai 'etroleum Association, acting or Gulf Oil, gave a brief sum mary of a large brief to be resented at the Calgary hear ing. were over-loaded, causing more emission than usual. Complaints were aired that of the 12 test areas Shell had iolng at present, not one had jeen placed on any of the 15 amilies concerned in the court Mrs. J. Taylor, a private citi- en of Pincher Creek, gave a irief on the effects of gas on icr family. She said agricul- ure depends on the plants and but she felt that hey (the Taylors' were paying oo dearly. Her family comprising her icr husband-, self and three sons suffered severe anemia, burning of throat, eyes, skin and lungs. Symptoms lessened when there was a change of winds or when they moved to town- She stated they had had a prosperous farm but now are no ger able to raise pigs be- cause they are highly suscep- tible; feeder cattle don't thrive; house plants were affected. "Ma- chinery and barb wire rust se- verely. J. "W. French Petroleum Institute at the invitation of the environ- ment conservation authority. Adjourned for supper at 6 p.m. Resumed at 8 p.m. action. He also mentioned the dumping of emission in the form of salt water on gravel roads instead of the site pro- vided for it. He felt that the government should set up sim- iliar research to Shell- In the case of legislation against of- fending parties, he felt it should be under criminal law rather than civil law and should be applicable to individuals as wel as companies. He said at the time they stalled their case there was government legislation avail- able to close a plant down if it interferred with their prop- erty and their living. This legis- lation was soon rescinded. Dr. Donovan Ross of the former government had insisted there was no problem. Dr. Trost, chairman, Inquir- ed if the committee had sought and obtained co-operation from the government. Mr. McRae answered that their lawyer, who was K chemical engineer, was their source of information. There were 15 famines in the pollution committee. Hilton Pharis, reeve for the MD, said the MD council had been concerned since the advent of wells and plants because of the emissions into the air and slreams were polluted by indus- trial wastes, lie said there was a need for government in- volvement in helping clear up these emissions. He said there was good liaison between the plants and the council. R. A. A- Thompson, for Gulf Oil, said their's was the first are efficient In their jobs. Safe- ly meetings arc held, employees arc protected from note pollu- tion. Gulf Oil wishes to Ixj a good neighbor. Mrs. Edith Mcflae, a private citizen and also a key witness in the court hearings when an out of court settlement was made by the two plants on the fifteen families, gave a brief on behalf of her husband and their six children. They suffer- ed sickness until moving to Pincher Creek, but find thati they're very sensitive to the gases upon returning to their farm- They were left with an economic and management problem, as no part of their family wish lo lake over this land. She also spoke on breed- ing problems in cattle, vegeta- tion damage and death of pigs. Mrs. W. Main, the last pri- vate cilizen of the evening said their proximity to the plant saw such damage as sulfur blown on their land. In one in- stance a slug of flames set a range fire, there is considerable visible lire and sulphur hazards. The Drywood Creek is pollu- ted with obnoxious materials, their spring was contaminated, the health of their family and their animals are also affected. She would like to see a clean-up of all areas to near original beauty. She believes land In a trust and should be treated as such. As with others she felt plants at this time were at- tempting to improve the situa- tion and there was in fact some noticeable improvement but much more was needed. They are willing to work on tests with the plants. The hearing concluded st p.m. Andrews spoke for sulfur extraction plant to oper- ate in Alberta and was build in 1958. It is still meeting the regu- lations in the 1970s. A monitor- ing trailer is being checked daily. A helicopter-carried Instru- was used to measure stack flume and was backed up by ground, instruments. AU salt and production water was dis- closed system, channelled these were Shipping sulphur in liquid form to overcome sulfur dust flying 1971 was producing 311 milli Bruce McRae, speaking for such as burning hydrogen su research pollution committee, phide to sulfur dioxide. Sta emmissions have a limit plants. After seven years of ne- gotiations, (he plants settled out Mr. Naden favored the the five ground monitorii trailers, of which four are s tionary, with one rover. meeting with success. Em- hydrogen sulphide and siuohur These are very important measuring ground level emis-1 dioxide. Sometimes the plants ployecs are longtime ones who TONIGHT AND FRIDAY ONLY THiSE SPECIALS EFFECTIVE ONLY AT 5TOTf Daily' p'm Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CENTRE VILLAGE IGA LETHBRIDGE DELIVERY IN THE SMOKED READY TO EAT CANADA UTILITY BURNS, CANADA PACKERS, SWIFT'S AND GAINERS Whole, Shank V2 or CRANBERRIES FRESH, OCEAN B.C. 3 pint carton CHASE AND SANBORN JELLY POWDER Assorted 3-oz. pkq. Regular Mb. pkg. A versatile, low-cost power tool for the home handyman. Model 7515. All Black Decker Tools carry the famous Kt: NO-TIME-LIMIT _ titu Guarantee 1 ALL CJ.L EXTERIOR finishing Sander For professional finishing, with one hand operation. Model 5709 SALE, EA. 16.88 Power Saw Makes light work out of tlis toughest jobs. Model 7301. SALE, EA. 25.88 OPEN A -JSL HANDY BEAVER Open Monday thru Friday a.m. to p.m. Sol. a.m. ro p.m. 3rd Ave. 17th St. S. Phone 328-4461 t ;