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Canadian Natural Resources Limited penalized $500,000 for hydrogen sulfide releases

Canadian Natural Resources Limited has been penalized $500,000 for incidents at its Horizon facility, which occurred in 2010 and 2012.

The first incident occurred on May 28, 2010. The plant’s sulfur recovery unit failed and some hydrogen sulfide escaped at both ground level and through a flare stack. The company reported the incident to Environment and Parks on June 3, 2010, contravening a requirement under Section 227 (j) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act to immediately report a release to the director. For this violation, the company was penalized $350,000.

The second unrelated incident occurred on August 2, 2012. The plant’s sulfur recovery unit failed. An unknown quantity of hydrogen sulfide gas escaped through a flare stack as it failed to fully combust the hydrogen sulfide gas, which was a contravention of the plant’s approval. The company admitted to breaching Section 227 (e) of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and was penalized $150,000.

Of the total penalty, $425,000 will be directed to researchers from the University of Calgary who will use the funds to research the toxicological effects of chemicals measured in the air in and around Fort MacKay.

Alberta Environment and Parks focuses on education, prevention and enforcement to ensure all Albertans continue to enjoy a clean and healthy environment. When individuals or companies fail to comply with legislation, Environment and Parks has a range of options, depending on the offence, to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.


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Government of Alberta