More Environmental Problems for Imperial Oil Ltd.
The federal government has recently said Imperial Oil must follow rules set out by the Sahtu Land and Water Board for clean-up of Imperial’s 70-year-old oil pumping operations in Norman Wells, N.W.T. (CBC News). The Sahtu Board wants to establish some rules and is demanding a security deposit for the eventual clean-up of the site. Imperial estimates another 10 years of production before they will abandon the site. Imperial Oil had challenged the Sahtu Board’s authority to issue clean-up rules. The clean-up of major abandoned oil and gas extraction, storage and processing sites is a long-standing problem in Canada, as taxpayers are often left footing the bill.
Imperial Oil also recently asked the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench to dismiss a lawsuit brought against it by Rick Bilozer who claims a whole list of environmental infractions by Imperial on his family’s century-old grain farm located between Calmar and Devon, Alberta (Edmonton Journal). Bilozer’s claims include: burial of contaminated materials that spread to groundwater and caused elevated levels of benzene, ethyl benzene, chloride, sodium, sulphates and hydrocarbons; a brush fire that spread off the lease site and set peat underneath the ground on fire for 10 years, causing the ground to cave in and form a swamp; and a number of spills on the Bilozer property including a 5,000-litre spill of oily emulsion in 1982.
Railroaded continues to follow Imperial Oil’s environmental practices since the company started storing 225 rail tank cars full of petroleum residue immediately adjacent to 2 homes and 2 wildlife conservation areas southeast of Edmonton.